ARCHIVED - Transcript/Transcription - Vancouver, B.C. / (C.-B.) - 16 October 2001
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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
Multiple broadcasting and ownership applications & applications further to Public Notice 2001-32 "Call for applications for a broadcasting licence for an ethnic television programming undertaking to serve Vancouver, B.C.".
Demandes de radiodiffusion et de propriétés multiples ainsi que les demandes suite à l'avis public CRTC 2001-32 "Appel de demandes de licence de radiodiffusion visant l'exploitation d'une entreprise de programmation à caractère ethnique pour desservir Vancouver (C.-B.)".
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Renaissance Vancouver Renaissance Vancouver
Hotel Harbourside Hotel Harbourside
1133 West Hastings Street 1133 West Hastings Street
Harbourside Ballroom II & III Harbourside Ballroom II & III
Vancouver, British Columbia Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique)
16 October, 2001 le 16 octobre 2001
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès‑verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio‑television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Multiple broadcasting and ownership applications & applications further to Public Notice 2001-32 "Call for applications for a broadcasting licence for an ethnic television programming undertaking to serve Vancouver, B.C.".
Demandes de radiodiffusion et de propriétés multiples ainsi que les demandes suite à l'avis public CRTC 2001-32 "Appel de demandes de licence de radiodiffusion visant l'exploitation d'une entreprise de programmation à caractère ethnique pour desservir Vancouver (C.-B.)".
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Andrée Wylie Vice-Chair Broadcasting
/Vice-Président, Radio diffusion
Cindy Grauer Commissioner / Conseillère
Martha Wilson Commissioner / Conseillère
Joan Pennefather Commissioner / Conseillère
Andrew Cardozo Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Martine Vallee Hearing Manager / Gérant de
Marguerite Vogel Secretary / secrétaire
Carolyn Pinsky Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Renaissance Vancouver Renaissance Vancouver
Hotel Harbourside Hotel Harbourside
1133 West Hastings Street 1133 West Hastings Street
Harbourside Ballroom II & III Harbourside Ballroom II & III
Vancouver, British Columbia Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique)
16 October, 2001 le 16 octobre 2001
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PAGE / PARA NO.
APPLICATION BY / APPLICATION PAR
by Multivan Broadcast Corporation / 1505
par Multivan Broadcast Corporation
Continued / Continuation)
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR
by CFMT-TV / par CFMT-TV 2704
by Multivan Broadcast Corporation / 2729
par Multivan Broadcast Corporation
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR
by Fairchild Television / 2747
par Fairchild Television
by Chinese Community Television / 2804
par Chinese Community Television
by Telitalia Television / 2914
par Telitalia Television
by I.T. Productions / 2980
par I.T. Productions
by Braghwant Sandhu / 3147
par Braghwant Sandhu
by Manpreet Grewal / 3171
par Manpreet Grewal
Vancouver, British Columbia / Vancouver, Colombie Britannique
--- Upon commencing on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 at 0830 / L'audience débute le mardi 16 octobre 2001 à 0830
1505 seq level0 \h \r0 seq level1 \h \r0 seq level2 \h \r0 seq level3 \h \r0 seq level4 \h \r0 seq level5 \h \r0 seq level6 \h \r0 seq level7 \h \r0 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Bonjour, et nous vous souhaitons la bienvenue une deuxième fois. I've already been introduced, so go ahead, please. I've got to make sure my viewers are in line with the proper language. Go ahead, Commissioner Pennefather, please.
1506 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair. Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Thank you again for your presentation last evening. Let's pretend that we just took a short break and we'll carry on right through. As you know, Madam Chair explained just before break last evening that we will follow a pattern of questioning similar to yesterday. I will begin. I will have several questions on programming and on the demand for programming, specifically looking at the studies that are included with your application. Commissioner Cardozo will then follow and look at your application in terms of community feedback, social issues, local presence and Commissioner Wilson will cover your business plan, synergies and certain technical areas, questions in that dossier. She will as well probably have some questions that take us back through the application and recap some of the questions that we have asked or haven't asked.
1507 So, we'll begin with programming. The purpose of the questions are to help us understand better how the vision which you outlined yesterday in your presentation and video and in your application and how your business plan translate into programs on the screen for audiences. As specifically as possible, we'd like to explore your program concepts, your schedule and your relationships with the independent production sector. I'll also have questions, as I mentioned, regarding the demand studies and how those studies influenced your scheduling and your programming.
1508 As I said before, my colleagues will take a look at this same program schedule from the point of view of diversity and business questions and local ownership. In fact, your presentation placed considerable emphasis on the whole matter of local ownership and the business acumen of your team. But as you, yourself, have said in your application, programs which truly reflect the community are fundamental to the application. So if we look at Schedule 17, which is, in effect, your program grid and your discussion of the programs attached to that - this is your grid, Schedule 17 - we see there how you do intend to meet the expectations of the communities to be served and your advisory board's expectations. I'm going to ask you to tell us how and why you took this particular approach to programming. So my first question is a general one just to get started, and then we'll break that down to look at your ethnic programming, the local nature of it, the third language programming and the various components of that ethnic programming and then we'll look at your non-ethnic programming and get into the details of why you propose to do what you will be doing.
1509 As a general comment, can you tell us how you made the decisions as to what types of programs would best meet the needs of the ethnic communities you propose to serve.
1510 MR. HOLTBY: Good morning, commissioners. I think I'll start this, and I know that my colleagues will have some things to say. When we started this process I think we recognized early on that ethnic programming is local, and that this community is underserved with local ethnic programming. We do have, as the Commission is well aware, programming from some specialty services, but we decided early on that what we needed to do here was to provide local reflection, relevant programming, sensitive programming. We did that in consultation, not only amongst ourselves, because as the Commission is well aware, we all live here, work here. The citizens of Vancouver are our neighbours. We also sought out the advice of our advisory council, the thirteen representatives of various communities in this city. We also did extensive research and asked the public what they were looking for and it was clear that what the public wanted was local programs, local information. Because of the background of some of our shareholders they had a sense of what was required, trying to understand Canadian institutions, the need when you come to this new country, the need to have that kind of information, information in your own language so that you can understand it.
1511 So that was the background of the philosophy behind the schedule. And then we, of course, looked at the rules of the CRTC, the 60/40 model. Our proposal in front of you, the schedule that we have developed, shows 68 percent of ethnic programming, and we hope that we can do that. We also were very conscious of the economics of this business, and that is our hope.
1512 So when we look at the individual parts of the local schedule, clearly, one of the main items that was needed, main programming resources that was needed in this community, was news, and we have scheduled two hours of news in prime time and two hours of news in the morning and those are distinct newscasts. While we are living our day, the local and national and international news would be, of course, displayed on our evening newscast, and as we sleep, in other parts of the world is moving forward. In Asia, for example, their day is starting as we're going to sleep, so we would be bringing back news from the homeland and portraying that on the early evening news. And so we would have two newscasts that were distinct.
1513 We also tried to accommodate as many different ethnic groups and languages as we could possibly accommodate in the application. We have solicited recommendations from program producers, from our advisory council, of what these different ethnic communities would want to see, what would be important for them. We tried to keep it as local as we possibly could, recognizing that there would be some programs that would be of interest that were foreign, and perhaps even some programs from other communities in Canada. They make up a small portion of our schedule.
1514 MR. HO: Commissioner, if I could just add to this? The other thing that we also have done when we were looking at this whole Vancouver supply, in supplementary to what Mr. Holtby just said, we also looked at all the scheduling of Shaw Multicultural Channel, as well as Talentvision, and Fairchild. We look at all of their programs and we did a fair amount of analysis as to what kind of program they provide and we tried to complement everybody's programming there. For instance, most of the programs that we notice are imported programs, and we also noticed that our programming are mostly local programming. So that's one difference. The other difference is language that's been provided. We tried to avoid, or tried to complement as much as we can, so that we do not broadcast the same ethnic language hour as they do. In other words, if they have an hour that's broadcasted, let's say a Korean program, in the morning, then we will broadcast a Korean program afterwards. We tried to do that with quite a bit of adjustment, so we have taken that audience into consideration, broaden the market and taken the complementary type of thinking. Thank you.
1515 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much. I'll address the questions, I guess, to you Mr. Holtby and you can pass it on or please jump in. I'm sure you'll all have something to add as we get going here but I'd like to, obviously, go back over some of the things you've just said.
1516 On the ethnic programming, you propose in your application 86 hours a week of ethnic programming; is that correct?
1517 MR. HOLTBY: That's correct. That's what the sample schedule shows.
1518 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And that's in your supplementary brief. Of this 86 hours of ethnic programming, you will carry 55.5 hours a week of locally produced programming, to quote your brief, of which 28.6 hours a week is original. Are these correct numbers?
1519 MR. HOLTBY: Actually the local, original hours is 42 and a half and the re-feeds are 17 and a half.
1520 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Is that a week or a month?
1521 MR. HOLTBY: That's a week.
1522 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's by week? Then we'll have to come back and clarify that because I have a different analysis. In fact, if we look at the revised Schedule 17, in other words, the detailed description of programming, you sent a revised version with the deficiency letter of July 30th, we come up with 60 hours a week as opposed to 55.5 of local. Could you explain the difference?
1523 MR. HOLTBY: That's correct. And that's the 42 and a half and the 17 and a half adds up to 60. I'm not sure what the reason for the difference is. Perhaps James can shed some light.
1524 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So, between 55.5, which is repeated quite often in your supplementary brief, you agree it's closer to 60 total?
1525 MR. HOLTBY: Well, the 55 and a half, what we've said is that that would be an absolute minimum of local that we would do.
1526 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
1527 MR. HOLTBY: But our sample schedule is at 60. And that's our hope, that that is the level of programming that we would be able to accomplish, so what we've given you is the absolute minimum.
1528 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: As Madam Chair said yesterday with the other applicant, it's important that we clarify this. You may want to think about it as we go through discussion, but in the end we'll come back to looking at how we confirm your commitment.
1529 MR. HOLTBY: Sure.
1530 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Mr. Ho, you wanted to add?
1531 MR. HO: Yes, I just wanted to add to this. Actually, the 55.5 hour is a calculation that we have done. Two of the programs actually we have not calculated in. We only calculate the original hour, that is the Yoga and You and Tai Chi: Mind and Body, in the morning. The actual hour that's missing is actually in these two. We have 3.5 hours, in other words, seven hours of original and repeated program, whereas we only included two and a half hours of original non-repeat in the program. So if you calculate everything inclusive, that's seven hours instead of two and a half hours, and that makes up the differences there. So instead of 55.5 it is 60, and we just mentioned 55.5 so that we can explain during this process.
1532 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much. I think that's becoming clearer. Let's go now to questions about the substance of the programming, the content itself instead of just the numbers. Let's talk about news. You did say, Mr. Holtby, and your application speaks to this point, that you put a great focus on news. Can you explain why you have done that in more detail?
1533 MR. HOLTBY: The newscast will feature local, national, and international news, and to that end, on the local side we promised 13 vehicles: nine news-gathering vehicles, two satellite trucks and two production trucks. The philosophy behind that is that we believe that with this type of television, with ethnic television, you've got to get out in the community. So it's very much a remote newscast, very extensive newsgathering. As a matter of fact, I think it would be second to none as far as local television stations as far as equipment available to gather news in this local community. So our local newscast, our local component of our newscast will be gathered with the use of those and local reporters.
1534 On the international and national front, we have had extensive discussions with both CTV and CBC, and we have a commitment from our friends at CTV that we would have access to their video, which we think is very important. Obviously, we would translate that into the language of broadcast. But when you're trying to produce a top quality newscast you really have to have the pictures from whatever the news story is, so they have agreed that we could have access to their video and then our local editors and producers and reporters would put the story together from a local perspective. So if there is an economic conference in Hong Kong, for example, we would be there because CTV would be there. We would at least get the pictures and then we would, through various news sources, including CTV, but news wire services, we would then produce the story.
1535 In addition to that, one of our shareholders, James Ho, has a radio station and there will be some synergy as a result of that. For example, when the legislature is sitting, we will certainly have a reporter over in Victoria and they would have a dual responsibility to cover news for the television station as well as the radio station.
1536 So our news that we're going to be able to provide the public here in Vancouver will be every bit as good and good quality and relevant and sensitive as any newscast in this market. That's our hope and our aim.
1537 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: If I can pursue that a bit.
1538 MR. HO: I'm sorry Commissioner, can I just add one more thing.
1539 COMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes.
1540 MR. HO: The other thing, like I said, I would like to go back again as to what's being offered in this market. While we are seeing a lot of news that is being offered in this market, especially in the ethnic community again, it is imported, foreign news, very, very little coverage of local news. This is why we are very heavily emphasising local coverage of news. Further to that, we also look at what's being covered from Fairchild, news as well, and most of it again, is coming from Toronto. Very few of their news coverage are local Vancouver, unless a big event like this. I mean, they will cover with some extent of information but because of the recent changes that they also have to make, the amount of news coverage has been greatly reduced about the local coverage here. And we did expect that to happen as we were reading complaint letters that was sent to CRTC earlier. So we anticipated all this, plus our experience in the newsgathering in our radio station throughout all this period, we are known to be a very local news radio station. That's how we survive the niche market at this point.
1541 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I thank you, Mr. Ho. I think Commissioner Wilson will go back on exploring with you the synergies, but I must say on the news, I still would like you to give us a better sense of how this newscast, on which you place tremendous emphasis in terms of the blocks in the schedule, differs from what is there now, starting with, since you place such a great deal of emphasis on the local quality of your application, local ownership, understanding what the local needs are, what's the breakdown between the local, the regional, the national and the international? I mean, that sounds like a fairly substantial package of news where the local may take a second, third or even fourth seat to the international news, particularly since you put the emphasis on the CTV video, et cetera. What is it that makes this a local product, local newscast, because it's a major vehicle of your whole approach?
1542 MR. HOLTBY: Well, the breakdown of any newscast varies every day. I've been involved, as you know, for years in broadcasting and I've never probably seen two days where it's exactly the same between local, national and international. It really depends on the news and what's relevant for that particular day. But we have earmarked and set aside and committed significant resources to collect the local news. The viewer -- it's clear that what the ethnic communities in this city want is local reflection, they want local information, so that is going to be a very significant part of the newscast, in their language.
1543 They also are interested in what's happening nationally and what's happening internationally. They are not, you know, so insular that they're just concerned about their own specific community or their province or their city, they're interested in what's going on in the world and they want to understand what's going on in the world. Our plan is to try and interpret that, get it in their language so that they can become as informed as any other viewer in Vancouver.
1544 We have great newscasts in this city and the quality and the level of expectation is very high, and this station has to meet that with the ethnic communities. They're not going to tolerate anything but state-of-the-art newscast.
1545 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well, you can understand our concern, again, because we're looking at an application which places an emphasis on local and your accounting included this news even if we said we'd limit the repeats and count it only once, just to be absolutely conservative, if I may quote you. It's important that we get a sense what will be on the screen, that is really defining this as a local product as opposed to a newscast which, to quote Mr. Ho, is similar, it brings a lot of foreign, or international news. Not to say that people aren't interested, but it's just to get a feeling for what makes the difference. Why is this complementary to what is already available? I do see local ethnic news as I watch television here. What makes this different?
1546 MR. HOLTBY: Well, the difference -- first off, I'd like to address the issue about the, I guess your concern about the amount of national and international. As I said, our arrangement for this is with CTV, so the amount of material that would be available would be what they deem as is important from a national perspective and it's what they're broadcasting on a national perspective. We're not talking about every new story around the world or in this country.
1547 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Excuse me for interrupting. You say CTV is going to make those choices for you?
1548 MR. HOLTBY: No. I'm saying as far as video goes, that's all the video that we will have. They will not produce and be involved in the production of the newscast, but our arrangement is with video. The Commission is well aware, they've now expanded their news bureaus. They are going to have extensive availability of videos. There's no way a local ethnic station could accommodate that. And if we looked at what many of the local -- or what many of the conventional broadcasters are using for international news, they're using ABC, or CNN, or other news sources. In the case of CTV, they've got Canadians covering as much as they can, they've got a number of bureaus all over, so we think that's a positive. But, clearly, the reflection in this newscast is local. That's what's needed in this market and we will produce a relevant, sensitive, reflective newscast to our viewers. And at the end of the day, they will decide if we're doing the job right and this station lives or dies on its ability to attract audience.
1549 And I think we can attract audience, I have no doubt about that. We have all the elements in place. We're going to have extensive resources to collect local news. We have -- extensive because of our relationships with CTV and others. We'll have the ability to give them a full package and that's what they want. They don't want a scaled down package.
1550 MR. HO: Let me just add, in addition to the arrangement that we have made with CTV, CBC also is talking with us. In addition to all of that Canadian side of things, we also have discussions with countries on the South-East Asia, Asia and South-East Asian countries and their television stations because if we have a very important thing that's happened in that area, sometimes the very local market are bringing it out as quickly as possible, and we have the discussion that we're able to use their footage as well, which is going to be downloaded over through satellite on a daily basis as well. But we will put in an angle to it and, you know, our angle will be talking about it during our news hours, using their footage as well.
1551 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So if we look now at the local side of the news, again, your local news editors will be making the choices. You mentioned having equipment out there, trucks and others. I think in your application you say that there will be six such units and today or in your presentation, nine and did you say nine today? It's just a small detail, but you put an emphasis on being able to get out into the community. How many of these units will you have, nine or six?
1552 MR. HOLTBY: We would have nine.
1553 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Nine. The area that you are talking about when you say local coverage, where these news gathering units will be going, what are we talking about? The Greater Vancouver area? The Lower Mainland? What does local mean in this sense?
1554 MR. HOLTBY: It would be the Lower Mainland. There was a discussion yesterday about the election in Richmond. I mean, that's the kind of thing. It really depends where the story is, but the fact that they are mobile, that's the whole purpose of them being mobile is to go to where the news is and to cover it, whether it's a news tragedy, whether it's a political story, whether it's a celebration, a festival, to go where the news is.
1555 MS. DEOL: You were asking how it's local. Well, the use of nine units, I mean that's as much as any mainstream station has to go out there and get stories and do live spots. I think every newscast would start with what the local scene is and what happened in your own backyard today, and from that point it would go on to what's happening nationally, what happened in our collective backyard today as a country. From that point it would go on to what's happening around the world that affects us. So I think that there's no, you know, I mean, it would start with local news made by us, produced by us. We would be the ones saying in our every day line-up meetings, this matters, this does not, this matters, this doesn't. So I think it's completely local, the whole viewpoint. The start of the show would start with local news and then move out from there.
1556 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's a good point that leads right to my next question, and I think Mr. Ho's already touched on it. The key to this, as I understand it, is the mix depends on the interests and what's happening in the world today. You're assuring us that a large -- main component of this is local news. Those decisions are made by the news editors and news directors. You say on page 14 of your supplementary brief, and you did repeat this in your presentation last evening that, and I quote, "TV news directors and assignment editors for MVBC News will be chosen for their sensitivity to issues of interest for ethnic audiences." Can you expand on that and how you will assure that happens?
1557 MR. HO: This is again getting back to the appearances that we have from our radio station. Again, from our radio station, we are very sensitive as to what's happening in the community, in the ethnic community, as to compared to the mainstream community. There's quite often things happen in the ethnic community which is very a major thing. It may not be a major situation in the mainstream community, and sometimes it is something happening in the mainstream community that's effecting the ethnic community as well and we would like to bring that attention to.
1558 One of the key important things in selecting the editor is the better understanding this person has towards the ethnic community, whether it's the Chinese and the South-Asian community. We have that in place at this moment that we'll be looking at. And I'm going to take the Chinese, for incidence. There's many, many different events that's happening in the Chinese community. Some are geared towards the Hong Kong community, Cantonese speaking, some are geared towards the Mandarin speaking community. You have to know all these happenings. On top of it there are situations such as Canada Day, July 1st, which is a celebration that we would like to bring out to all the community, all the ethnic community, to know about it and, therefore, under the news item as well, we have quite extensive coverage on that.
1559 It is all these standards that we are choosing, and once -- if you are in the community doing the business or doing the broadcast in the business side of things, you quite often meet with a lot of qualified people who are abundant in this community here who are, in this community, currently living in Vancouver, but have no chance of working ever, either for a mainstream community TV station, mainstream TV station, or anybody else because of various reasons that's happening in their community. We will be looking at all these talents, all these people and we'll be providing a chance for them to provide a service to us.
1560 MR. HOLTBY: Commissioner, if I could just add one small point. I think it's a well-known fact in broadcasting that the station that has the clearest understanding and a feel for the community is the one that will win in the local newscast. If you look at early morning news, for example, and you have a national early morning system here, CTV has an early morning newscast and events, and those decisions are made in Toronto. Invariably, in every local market, they get out-rated by the local because the people that are on the street and understand what's relevant to the community, can reflect that on the screen. And so what we're doing here is taking it one step further; is not only being local, but we have to be sensitive in understanding the community that we're trying to reach. So if it's a Chinese community, or South Asian community, they have to be very knowledgeable in understanding that as well. So they're local and then they're understanding the ethnic community.
1561 MR. HO: And let me just add, I forgot to mention the timing, the time as to how much time we're going to cover. The local news that's happening surrounding the Lower Mainland will be at least half an hour out of the one hour and then we'll be allocating approximately, I'm saying approximately, 15 minutes to international and 15 minutes to national.
1562 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. I think that was my first question. But, as you know, I think it's important that we allow you to speak about these things because you don't - and I'm sure everyone will agree - understand the potential for success just through counting the numbers. It's important to get a sense of what's driving this. I'm sure that my colleague, Commissioner Cardozo, will pursue the question of sensitivity, whether it's just a matter of knowing what's going on in the community or if we're talking about something else because I think the whole point of this is a discussion of who makes the choices of what we see on the screen.
1563 I'm going to move to a couple of other questions on the news. Actually I just asked that question and we did talk about the teams and the technical equipment. So let's move on to another component, a fairly extensive one of your program schedule and that's what's called Lifestyles programs. And here, using Schedule 17 and page 15 of the supplementary brief, I think it's important we understand this component of the schedule. It's, frankly, a little vague as it stands now. What will these programs look like and why have you chosen this format?
1564 MR. HO: First of all, let me say that we have extensive help from our advisory council as to what's happening in this community. Further to that, we also have quite a bit of extensive proposals from all the different producers that are going to be producing these programs. Well, I can say that for sure, there's no shortage of ideas. I'm just bringing a sample of scheduling here as to what's been proposed to us from various communities here. And the first page just happens to be a Vietnamese program, and these are the people who lives in our community and know what's missing in our community, and they have also mentioned to us what they would like to see, you know, in their population.
1565 One of these proposals comes to us and says, very simply, they would like to have, with our vision -- I want to read this one short paragraph here.
Our vision is to provide Vietnamese residents in B.C. with relevant news (they highlight relevant news) and information in the Vietnamese language on the issue of the week. The target audience of the program will be primarily Lower Mainland viewers of the Vietnamese descent. The program is designed to build a bridge within the Vietnamese community (that's within their own community) in the local viewer area and to bring them news from their homeland in Vietnam. Topics will be local, international news and current affairs, also some entertainment features.
1566 So news and current affairs, entertainment, and source, and the contact and also he mentioned that they utilize intensively the Internet and newspaper. And, by the way, we will have people going out to their own community to discover what's happening. This is one of the things that the Vietnamese have provided.
1567 It's going to be a little bit different from, let's say a Filipino producer. The Filipino producer have a different background. And just for your information and so that you know what's happening in the Filipino market, it is a growing community and most of the people actually live in Vancouver from the Filipino descent. The people there, they actually, they speak Tagalog, that's their own local language and they have a very extensive understanding of English as well, so they can speak two languages most of them. I would say 90 percent or 99 percent of them. And what they wanted to do is, on their program, they would want to have a person who is fluent in both English and Tagalog.
1568 They would like to provide, again, the concern of the local news, relative news focus in particular on the concerns that will impact the Filipino Canadian community. The latter portion, the news and they would be doing the interviews with the local Filipino, local people and people who comes from Filipino countries and the Filipino celebrities.
1569 They also want to conduct a second generation of Filipinos to allow them to express their views when occasion arises. Forums and debates could be held between Filipino Canadians representing either the English or the Tagalog, thus helping Filipinos gain a better understanding of the issues that affect their daily lives.
1570 Again, like I say, a lot of these Lifestyles, what we have found, and from the recommendation that we have, we found that to be, again, geared towards a local flavour - a lot of local programs, actually, that has not been aired or it has no chance of being aired in the surrounding Vancouver area or in any of the mainstream TV or in any of the existing specialty TVs or multicultural channels. You know, certainly, we will be the one that's doing all these types of airings.
1571 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you for all of those descriptions.
1572 MR. HOLTBY: Commissioner, what we've said in our application is that our schedule will be the result of extensive consultation with the communities involved, with consultation with our advisory council, and the fact that we live here is also an added benefit, and consultation with the independent producers. So the schedule that will evolve and the programs that will evolve, on that schedule will be a result of that consultation and will be inclusive and reflective of those communities and that's so -- I realize that it's vague, but we didn't think that it was meaningful for us to say, well, you the Filipino community, this is the kind of program that you should have. We think that's the backwards way of doing it. What we want to do is to consult and to then deliver them the kind of program that is important to their specific community.
1573 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I understand your point from the content level. So who's producing these programs? Are you producing them in-house, are you co-producing, are they brokered hours with these various independent producers? How does it work?
1574 MR. HOLTBY: We estimate about 10 -- let me back up. The news, for example, will be done with in-house people. The producers, the editors, the reporters, they'll all be staff people at the television station. The other programs, we estimate approximately 16 percent, or roughly around 10 of those hours would be produced by independent producers. And when I say independent producers --
1575 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Just talking about the Lifestyle hours. So that 16 percent applies to the Lifestyle hours only?
1576 MR. HOLTBY: Sixteen percent of our ethnic programming would be --
1577 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes. And where the independent producers are working is within these Lifestyle blocks? Is that it?
1578 MR. HOLTBY: Yes. Well, it depends on the definition of what an independent producer --
1579 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: We'll get back to that in a whole section on independent production. What I'm interested to know is just the Lifestyle programming. Let's say Spanish Lifestyles Monday from 10:00 to 11:00, is that hour a production that you create, or is that hour produced in co-production, or is that hour brokered and the independent producer just uses that hour as he or she plans?
1580 MR. HOLTBY: Not brokered. We're not talking about brokered. That specific -- we've identified, I think, 25 independent producers in our application, and there's many more. This is a very vibrant community of independent producers. Some of them, it's not a full-time job. They're not independent producers in the same context of Alliance Atlantis for example. In one case, one of the fellows that I've met runs the Italian newspaper, but he also can produce radio and television and he's a very experienced and very creative person. So what he would like -- he doesn't want to be an employee. He wants to work on the show and produce a show for his community. So there will be a mix. There are some producers, I think, out there who would like to come on board as a full-time employee. What we said is that about 10 hours of our schedule on a weekly basis would be produced by people other than employees of the company, what we call independent producers.
1581 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. I'd like to come back to that a little later just to clarify your relationship with the independent sector generally because there seems to be several different approaches. Just so I understand, you've chosen to say in this schedule, Spanish, Italian, Scandinavian, Ukrainian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese - I may have missed one - but as an example, these are the groups that currently are scheduled to have a Lifestyles program. How did you decide that these would be the groups for this Lifestyles approach?
1582 MR. HO: Again, I would like to bring back to your attention the extensive advice that we've been getting from our advisory council as well as our producers in this community. And the other thing is my extensive multicultural experience in the community as well. It is always the situation that our airtime was to serve the majority of the population most of the time. What we have come to, I just want to bring it to your attention - just give me a second here, allow me to go to - one of our criteria, as I'm saying here, is to serving most of the population most of the time. The top five languages that we're covering of their mother tongue, we're servicing about 68 percent of the ethnic population. The top 10 population that we're looking at, the top 10 is the 88 percent of the total population. I've got a little notice here. Yes, I forgot to mention, I have to give these people quite a bit of credit as well, the people on the (inaudible) also have done quite extensive research for us at the same time.
1583 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: We will get to the researchers at the end.
1584 MR. HO: But overall speaking, like I say, the top five languages that we're serving is carving 68 percent and the top 10 is 88 percent.
1585 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So, basically the demographics?
1586 MR. HO: The demographics. And, of course, we identified there are over 75 communities living in Vancouver. There are larger communities, there are smaller communities. This is not to say that we're not going to service them at all. In our program schedule we also allow certain rooms in there called "various other languages". We understand that some of these smaller community maybe was 5,000, 3,000 people, such as the Tamil population, I understand is a very small population but they're part of the South-Asian community and they have their own distinct culture and languages. So, instead of covering them on a weekly basis, or a fixed hour, because very little things happen in that community, what can you cover? A lot of things you'd probably have to import it, but we also found out these people would like to know what's happening within their own community. So we have allocated various hours of languages in our schedule to be covered in that as well, and sometimes, if it is important enough, it's going to be reported as part of our news item. But we want to cover some of these smaller groups of people from a local perspective as well. We do not want them to be left out.
1587 But again, like I say, over 70-some community, there's only so much we can do. And we would like to, you know, in our schedule, we build in these rooms already.
1588 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Very helpful, Mr. Ho. I see the balancing act you're trying to achieve there. Just on the Lifestyles again, you read a couple of proposals, I think, for concept within the block, let's say of the Vietnamese or the Filipino. When you, as Multivan, look at these proposals, do you have anything to say about the content of that hour, and if so, what would be your criteria?
1589 MR. HO: Like I say, this is something that we do together. Both sides will have tremendous amount of input. One of the key important part of the thing that we also found out that what these people would like to have is quality programming. They would like to have usage of our studio, our equipment, et cetera. All of these things will be provided to them. On top of it, a lot of them have great passion in their own community and they would like to cover humongous amount of things that's happening in their community. We have talked about lending them, or just purchase certain equipment like cameras, and just lend it to these people to film. If they have two hours a week perhaps, they would like to go to their own communities throughout the week and just take down or film whatever is happening in their community that they feel is of importance. And of all these, maybe seven or eight hours long of footage, they will have to edit it, and we will have a certain input as well as to what kind of editing that can be done. For instance, we will not be influenced in terms of commercial items will be put on the news hours. And some of these programs they want to produce, we also wanted to make sure is quality type of program. And we will help them, assist them in building their techniques and know-how along the way in. Perhaps Doug would like to add to it?
1590 MR. HOLTBY: I just have one comment. At the end of the day, we are responsible for every hour that we broadcast on the station and we're very aware of the potential for problems, and so we retain that responsibility. But we believe that at the end of the day, the people that live in these communities are best equipped to reflect back to those communities of what's relevant for them. And so it's quite different than conventional television in that regard. It's, as you said, a balancing act between communities and it's a balancing act to give the freedom for them to produce the kinds of show that they think is necessary but we have to, obviously, retain control of what's broadcast. We're responsible for what's broadcast on the television station.
1591 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Who will own the rights for the program produced, let's say, in a Lifestyles hour?
1592 MR. HOLTBY: It could be various arrangements. I think that, by and large, the program will only be relevant for the local market and if the independent producer wanted to own it, that would be fine. I don't think there's other sales. But there would be various arrangements in that regard. There will be some producers that are not interested in the copyright for example, and they're not interested in getting through all of those legalities, but there will be various arrangements.
1593 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: We can come back to that as to why. Just one last point again. I wasn't sure if I understood why you didn't -- you said this wouldn't be brokered time, but why did you not choose that vehicle?
1594 MR. HOLTBY: Well, I've had, over the last seven months, many meetings with independent producers and what I've been told is they don't want to do that. They say, "We want to produce shows." One of the fellows said to me, "I'm not a salesperson." I don't have the time to go out and sell the time and I'd rather you do that. That's your business, to sell the time. I want to produce shows." I guess that's the way it's evolved in other markets. What I think is the most appropriate way to develop ethnic programming for the future, and to grow it, is to have producers do what they do best and that's to produce quality programming that attracts an audience. And once you have an audience, Commissioner, and you're able to get measurement of that audience -- and there's some issues there and you dealt with them yesterday, and there's challenges but it can work, and we now have technology in place that we're going to be able to get measurement of these programs and these communities. If you can deliver those, if you can deliver people and you can measure them, you can sell it. There's absolutely no question about that. And I think that's a better way of going. Let the producers do what they do best. Don't have them having to go out and try to sell the spot. To me, it just doesn't make any sense. Some producers that I've met over my career, I don't think could sell. I won't get into that, but --
1595 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Best not. Moving right along. Thank you. We'll come back to a couple of questions. But if we look at the programming approach overall, we've talked about news, we've talked about Lifestyles. There are also what I would call the entertainment component, the shows in the latter evening. It's Table by the Exit, Sounds Right Tonight, et cetera. Do you foresee any other kind of programming? You talked about attracting audiences. Do you see - I forgot the cooking shows - do you see any other kind of programming in your schedule in the future?
1596 MR. HOLTBY: Well, when you do your analysis, which I'm sure the Commission has done, of our program expenditures you will note that there's some $900,000 a year that is not allocated to any particular program here. And what that is, is resources that are available to the station to produce events and special events, and as James was talking about other communities and to extend from the 22 to other communities, celebrations, the tragedy of September 11th. If we'd been in operation, that would have required additional resources, not unlike a conventional television station when they have an election. It requires additional resources to cover that election and there would have to be, I think we would have a responsibility to try and explain what's going on and, you know, with this tragedy and some documentary.
1597 So there'd be documentaries and specials and community events that would be covered as well. A schedule, as the Commission is well aware, may be relevant for one week and the next week, and whether it's conventional television or ethnic television, it has to change and it has to be reflective of what's happening in that particular week.
1598 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: But it does give us an indication of where you're heading.
1599 MR. HOLTBY: Oh, yes.
1600 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And I think out of it we get what's important, a sense of your commitments, particularly under the ethnic policy.
1601 MR. HOLTBY: Absolutely.
1602 MR. HOLTBY: You mentioned audiences. The main focus of your local, ethnic programming clearly is targeted to Chinese and South-Asian audiences and you are aware of concerns that are being expressed about this. Without getting into the intervention period where we will discuss this matter I'm sure, do you have any comment on that point?
1603 MR. HOLTBY: We've been, and I know James has some comments to make, we're very well aware of what's available in this market. There is entertainment programming available in Chinese. There is all these specialty channels that either have been launched or are in the process of being launched. The one thing that they don't have, though, by the very nature of them being a specialty service on a national basis, is they don't have local reflection, so that's why we've designed a schedule that has local reflection.
1604 With regards to ours, we're very well aware of that. Chinese, I think, represents some 47 percent of our ethnic audience, but I think it represents about 25 or 28 percent of our programming, so we have scaled that down, recognizing that there is other programs available to the Chinese audience. In addition to that, as James pointed out earlier, we've tried to be sensitive to where we schedule it as well, keeping in mind that this has to be a relevant television station as well. We've tried to be sensitive to that as well. James?
1605 MR. HO: Again, like I'm saying here, when we put this whole thing together, instead of putting it from a competitive point of view, in other words, if you have the same program, you're successful, I want to do the same program at the same time, same hour and try to grab your audiences. I mean, again, I wanted to emphasis, we're trying to be a complement situation, complementing each other, and broaden the audiences. In other words, if Shaw Multicultural has one hour of one particular group and if we're going to have two hours we're going to absolutely destroy them or kill them because we're commercial, we can produce a lot of programs. We have the ability, financial resources to produce a much better quality program. Instead of that, we air our time at a different hour. We try our best to complement them so that the same community can turn to our free over-the-air station and can turn the hour to Shaw Multicultural in the next hour or the hour before and watch the program. So instead of having two hours on our station here, the whole market actually have three hours now to watch. And I think it's something of a necessity in this community.
1606 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I take your point, but I did note that you did say there is a concern. There was also a concern that the Commission might have in looking at the whole picture here that the point is to serve as many communities as possible, in addition to counter-scheduling, why not expand the numbers of groups you are reaching instead of those that are currently well-served according to some of the studies. Do you have any comment on where the Commission should position itself on that score? In other words, isn't there a fair case to be made for some kind of limitation. We have to look at it, as the Chair suggested, from a regulatory point of view and, yes, there's a balancing act here, but isn't there a fair case to be made from our point of view too, of not only the impact locally, but the impact in terms of an opportunity here to serve other groups?
1607 MR. HOLTBY: Commissioner, I'll start. We wouldn't be providing a service, a relevant service to the - let's use the Chinese community as an example - to the Chinese community if what we did was we put the Chinese programming head to head, and tried to hurt their other choices. We want to expand their viewing options, so it doesn't make any sense, and you're absolutely right, when you pull on one string another thing happens, and the more ethnic Chinese that you would put on the station, or South Asian, of course it limits the amount of other communities that you can feature on a weekly basis. And what we've given to the Commission is a commitment that we would a minimum of 22 communities, and we've given you what we think is a realistic balance, recognizing - and we have recognized - that there is alternatives for both South Asian and Chinese, and so the number of hours is not reflected of their size of community. It's not. It's substantially lower. The hours on our schedule is lower than the size of the community's relative -- the overall ethnic pie. So we have recognized that, and we're very sensitive of that, and if the Commission would like to see some kind of cap, we could talk about that as well. We have no problem, because at the end of the day we want to provide a service.
1608 We're not interested in harming anybody. We think that there's a lot of room here. The research has shown that people are underserved. I don't think there's any question about that, and I think the Commission has recognized that in the call.
What we've tried to do is give you a proposal that is going to enhance the viewing. It's going to be of a benefit to all ethnic communities and not a detriment to them.
1609 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. Another way to look at the programming is third language component, and your brief says 72 hours a week will be third language.
1610 Again, I just want to clarify that number to see if we do agree that it is 72 hours a week. If we take Schedule 18 which lays things out on a per month basis, it appears to work out to 70 hours a week. Can you just clarify which it is, 72 or 70?
1611 MR. HOLTBY: I think the number is 70, and it represents --
1612 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: 7-0?
1613 MR. HOLTBY: 70 hours which represents 55.6 percent of the schedule, yes.
1614 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So whereas the supplementary brief said 72, it works out to 70 over -- looking at the Schedule 18, so we're off 70.
1615 MR. HOLTBY: Yes. There's probably a good reason for why the difference, but I don't know off the top of my head. Maybe James does.
1616 MR. HO: Yes. This is again something that we're building into our programming. If you take a look at the Schedule 17 there, one of the things that we have -- just give me a second. One of the things that we have in there is the movie hours. Just give me one quick second. Schedule 17. One of the things that we have built in there is the international ethnic movies there from 4:00 to 6:00 Saturday and Sunday. In there we do not specify languages, what kind of language. Within these movies we'll be playing at least two hours of Canadian movies. In addition to that, we will also be playing the rest of the time ethnic international movies that could be languages other than Chinese, South Asian, could be many different other languages. We are building room in there, so that's why you see 72 in our supplementary brief.
1617 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You inadvertently just struck a chord with me of one of the things that used to irritate me so -- it still does in this country, when I used to find Canadian films in international sections in video stores. I think I still do, but I used to scream terribly and most rudely, much to my son's chagrin, and when I did -- and not just the French Canadian ones. My colleagues get going because they know what happens when we --
1618 THE CHAIRPERSON: I didn't know you could scream, Joan.
1619 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: When it comes to films --
1620 MR. HO: Just to let you know, there's some very good films that we have been discovering in the last couple of months. Just to give you one example, the Revallen that we've been watching, it's French produced, sub-titled in English. It's Canadian content, and my whole family enjoys it. I mean, it just gives us history. It's something that we enjoy a lot, and --
1621 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It's wonderful to think that multicultural programming will allow Canadians across the country to discover Quebec cinema.
1622 MR. HO: Yes. Yes, it is actually good programs.
1623 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Why not?
1624 MR. HO: It is a good program that attracts people.
1625 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I'm all for that. Just on the third language, another interesting question which -- I'd like to table it here. We may find it better to discuss it when we look at studies, but I found it interesting that this level of third language programming may indicate to some readers a focus on a target audience that is first generation as opposed to a younger audience. We may want to come back to that point when we look at what the studies have told us your target audience will be. You put an emphasis, Mr. Holtby, on raising audience numbers and counting those audience numbers, which is challenging with this kind of service, but is that a fair statement that overall we're looking at first generation audience for Multivan as opposed to younger audiences, because of this level of third language programming?
1626 MR. HO: I'll start with this, but I can also ask Monika, our chairperson of advisory, as well as Baljit, independent producers that's with our panel, maybe to add something to this.
1627 It is our understanding, and through our experience in terms of multicultural broadcasting in this community for the last 20 some years that we found, yes, at the beginning you have a lot of people who do not understand English, and what their primary situation, what they're trying to look for is not only the news from their own home country, which is, you know, in their language, but also what's happening in this community. And it's happening not just in the first generation, as you know -- I mean, I have my kids that were born in Canada, who are also paying attention to what's happening in this community here. Maybe I will let Monika and Baljit elaborate some more.
1628 MS. DEOL: I think it varies according to what your ethnic background is, and I think it varies very much city to city. I was brought up in a small town outside of Winnipeg. I lived in Toronto for nine years. I worked in mainstream, you know, mainstream pop culture sort of television there.
I came here five years ago. What I found is that within you know, my people, the Sikhs or the South Asians, it's completely different. Every place is completely different. What works in Winnipeg does not work in, you know, Vancouver or Toronto. What works in the east is not working in the west. You have very different textures, not just culture to culture, but within one culture.
1629 And you're absolutely right. When I was talking to everybody, I was saying, "You have to keep in mind that on the west coast when it comes to Indians, you have people who came here in 1906, 1908. You have people who came here like we did, you know, 30, 35 years ago, and you have people who came here five or six years ago. You have to be relevant to all of them because they're all Indian, they're all Sikh. they're all Canadian.
1630 What does culture mean to someone like my husband who has never set food in India, but understands the language, married an Indian girl, and whose children speak both. You know, what does culture mean to friends of mine who have their dad and mom coming next week who don't speak any English. So you're absolutely right. I mean, we have to serve a broad section of people, not just in other cultures, but within our own cultures and we have to be relevant to all of them. So when you talk about that though, you have to know what's happening with your people. The Filipino people said it was very important that the host spoke both languages. The Vietnamese people said it didn't matter.
1631 So I think it also comes down to what's relevant. They know what's relevant to their own people, and we will listen to them. And if it's not working, if we find that there's, you know, a lot of younger people who are phoning or calling and saying, "Look, this is great for my mom and dad, or my grandma, but you know, what about me," well, then we will look at that, and we will change, adjust according to what our viewers want. But going in, we have to trust the judgment of those people who are, you know, coming up with these shows. What matters?
1632 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Mr. Lee, did you want to add something?
1633 MR. LEE: Yes, I'd like to give an example of myself here. I'm second generation in Canada, and when my parents came over, my mother couldn't speak English, so my father forced to go to Chinese school. After school I didn't have an opportunity to play sports like all the rest of the Canadians. So my children, unfortunately can't speak Chinese. So I have a sort of a personal thing that I would like, and that is for my children, who want to learn Chinese now - they're in their thirties - and my grandchildren can't speak Chinese, so here's an opportunity for me to somehow education them a little bit about their background, and where my father came from, and that's an opportunity that we want to give to the rest of the population in Canada, whether you're first generation, second generation or even third generation.
1634 MR. HO: Baljit would like to also answer this.
1635 MS. SANGRA: Thank you, James. In just looking at the schedule, I'm a second generation, South Asian, and I can speak my mother tongue as well. A lot of these programs would be appealing to me. There's South Asian/English programming from 9:00 to 10:00. In the evening there's Table by the Exit, Sounds Right Tonight, international movies. I would watch the news. I think there's a lot here for me; Ethnic Cooking. There's a lot, you know, in terms of cross-cultural programming that would be appealing to second or third generation.
1636 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Would there be a certain kind of programming, a type of programming that is more appealing for a second, third generation South Asian than others?
1637 MS. SANGRA: That's a good question.
1638 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: We're talking about television so I --
1639 MS. SANGRA: Yes, television.
1640 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And I recognize it's not an easy answer, but just to get a sense of how you're going to approach this challenge of meeting all the interests, beyond language. You watch television for the kind of programs that are there. What would work best?
1641 MS. SANGRA: Well, from my experience, I'm finding that a lot of young people are getting quite connected to their culture. The language is being revived, the dance, performance, the music. There's a lot of fusion going on. People are really interested in that. So I think that's really -- and people are going back to their language a bit. I know my cousins can all speak Punjabi and we're like third -- second, third generation. And the younger kids are really connecting with, you know, they love Bollywood movies. They love the top ten. They listen to bangra. Yeah. You know, they love American television too.
1642 So I think the programming that I see here would be very relevant. You know, I would love -- like, the news would be appealing to me, because I could watch that with my mom, my grandmother. But at the same point, Table by the Exit or Sounds Right Tonight, I would like to watch it or maybe be there, you know, at that party.
1643 So I think it's all very appealing. International sports would be appealing to my brother, and my father likes cricket, you know, so I think there's a lot there that's reflective of the younger generation.
1644 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
1645 MR. HO: And, commissioner, I would like to also just mention very quickly, we have also allocated a programming hour for the children's hour as well. The Japanese lifestyle, actually, we also have found there's another type of Japanese animations, cartoons, and by this I do not mean the violent type of cartoon, but the Japanese producers and some of the animation, actually who lives here in Vancouver, some of the Japanese animation people actually lives in Vancouver, produces it and send it back to Japan. What they have found is a lot of these programs that they're producing are sort of, more or less, connected to their reality. Like, they would not have people that can fly out of thin air or anything. It's different type of cartoon. They're trying to let us know, let us see what's happening.
1646 This Japanese lifestyle program on Sunday morning, it has the flexibility of tailoring to a certain portion of the independent producer that's actually living here doing a lot of animations. Like I say, that's more geared towards the lifestyle reality of what's happening in the Lower Mainland instead of the violent type, so it's a program for a lot of different generations.
1647 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You can see why then we wanted more description of the Lifestyles program, because behind that title are all these choices that will meet, or not, the needs of the communities. And I take your point that that's a great variety of things.
1648 Just again, I'm back to getting a clear sense of this. The ethnic program of 86 hours, there is a local component. A great deal of that's in third language. There is some English local ethnic programming, is there not? Can you just clarify what that is? English local ethnic, certainly some English in the newscast?
1649 MR. HO: Yes.
1650 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Are there others?
1651 MR. HO: Yes. Let me just say that half an hour of the news -- you want to know the news hour, half of the hours will be Punjabi and English. The South Asian, part will be English. And then we have Table by the Exit. That's going to be English. Sounds Right Tonight, that's English ethnic. Owners Away will be also English ethnic. And then we have the South Asian Hour in the afternoon, or should I say in the morning, actually, in the morning will be English as well. These are the South Asian hours that will be produced, or Canadian co-produced together, more or less like light drama type of program, that's also will be English and South Asian.
1652 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: English local?
1653 MR. HO: English local, yes.
1654 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The non-local ethnic, that's the final element of what I'll call the ethnic programming. We calculate that there's in the non-local 14 hours Canadian and 12 hours foreign. Does that jive with what you have?
1655 MR. HO: Foreign ethnic is 12 hours. And what was your first question?
1656 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The 14 hours Canadian, non-local. I understand that to be cooking and light drama.
1657 MR. HO: No, no, the cooking shows are all local as well.
1658 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: All right.
1659 MR. HO: Yes.
1660 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So what are the 14 hours of non-local Canadian ethnic?
1661 MR. HO: You mean acquired program, acquired Canadian --
1662 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The same show can be called different things, but what I'm looking at is the schedule. It would be acquired under your application, yes.
1663 MR. MOY: Maybe if I can clarify this for everyone, commissioner. The 14 hours that you're alluding to, the breakdown of that is that there will be approximately - actually will be - three hours of what we're calling Canadian acquired, and then the rest of the 11 hours of the 14 hours, we are hoping -- we're calling it local, and we're saying that perhaps we can do a co-production with an independent producer, or if the opportunity arises, perhaps we can, you know, work with other Canadian broadcasters, are the various opportunities that we will be exploring. And that's something that I think Doug maybe can explain to you.
1664 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: What kind of program are we talking about?
1665 MR. MOY: We are talking about one hour -- the three hours that will be Canadian acquired will be one hour of the Dutch, two hours of the Portuguese, and then for ethnic cooking, that's five hours. For the South Asian at nine o'clock in the morning, that's another five hours, and then we also have the Greek program, which is one hour.
1666 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So that's what's listed in Schedule 17, revised under acquired and co-production listing.
1667 MR. MOY: Yes.
1668 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So some of the component of the Lifestyles would be produced with producers as we described earlier, some could be under this acquired co-production list?
1669 MR. MOY: That's correct.
1670 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: But they end up to be the magazine type one-hour shows. What are we talking about in terms of the kind of programming? Are we talking drama? Are we talking a magazine? Are we talking news?
1671 MR. MOY: It depends. I should refer you to the page. Page 113 of our application outlines to you what we envision as perhaps co-production and local, and of, again the 14 hours that I mentioned earlier, the Greek is similar to their Lifestyles program that we mentioned.
1672 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes.
1673 MR. MOY: Dutch and Portuguese as well. Ethnic cooking is self-explanatory, and South Asia is light drama is what we're hoping for.
1674 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. So we are talking about the 14. That's where we got it too, from that Schedule 17.
1675 MR. MOY: Yes, that is the 14 hours, that's correct.
1676 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The 12 hours foreign is interesting. You've got Hindi drama, drama and Mandarin, or comedy in Mandarin or Cantonese, the sports which will be in English, and the movies. Just in terms of why you chose to add those elements to the schedule, can you expand on why you thought that would be interesting? I think we've touched on the movies and the sports for your brother, but generally speaking, this idea of including foreign non-local -- or foreign ethnic - I'm repeating myself here - programming, why did you decide to do that?
1677 MR. HO: One of the areas we also found that a lot of people in the first generation here, they would like to still go back to see some of the great movies or great dramas that have been produced in their home country, and we wanted to allocate certain hours there for their viewing as well. We did not want to leave them out, considering they may have certain language barrier here. And we have picked these two being the half an hour each day for the South Asian, half an hour a day for the Chinese, Monday through Friday, the type of light drama, comedy. It could be a very short series, or it could be a longer series will be viewed between these hours.
1678 Again, when we look at these, we want to make sure these hours are not competing again with an existing service that's being aired at this moment. That's why you see them in these hours and the things behind it.
1679 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: When you talk about existing services, what services are you referring to?
1680 MR. HO: I'm referring to Shaw Multicultural as well as the specialty TV.
1681 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Specialty.
This was my question. Do you not feel that this would have an impact on the ethnic specialty services which are, in fact, built -- some, built on international film and so on. Do you feel that the impact will be severe on these services?
1682 MR. HO: Well, for sure we'll have certain impacts on the TV station, but I would say that our impact will not only go to the specialty TV, but you know, it's going to affect everybody: mainstream TV, as well as the specialty, and not just limited to the ethnic such as Fairchild or TalentVision. We will affect them, but to what extent? Is it a huge major impact? I don't think so in this situation. And one of the things very simply said is, when we look at all these programming that we're doing, a lot of our programming is geared to what's local, what's happening in our surrounding in the Lower Mainland, and it is not in competition with what they have been doing.
1683 Take, for instance, the news hour, and our drama hour, I can provide you with one example. We have no intention to put the drama on the prime hour like what Fairchild has done. As a matter of fact, some of the news, say, for instance, the news hour, it could be entertainment news and we can go into say, you know this type of drama, let's say a drama name being, you know, Chinese Home Alone becomes a good hit in far east, and we can just mention a little bit about it in our news. And who has been playing that? Our competitor's playing it. So people would be switching over to their TV and watching that kind of drama program because we did not allow ourselves, or wanted to view -- or air that kind of program because most of our programming, like I say, is geared towards the local community needs demand and it's going to be produced locally. If we're going to have any drama that's going to be produced, you know, it would be most likely in the South Asian hour from 9:00 to 10:00, and it could be independent producer or co-produced together in the South Asian hour. It's totally different. This is what I'm saying, you know. It's complementing, you know. Everything that we do, the first thing that I have made sure, or we have made sure is that we want it to be a complementing service, broaden the hours so everybody can enjoy.
1684 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. Just before we leave the ethnic programming, I wanted you to comment on the appropriateness of the 86 hours of local ethnic programming per week becoming a condition of licence. Do you have a comment on that?
1685 MR. HOLTBY: Well, the Commission has our commitment that we will launch the service with 86 hours a week. Now, we recognize the problems that some ethnic stations have had. We think that -- I personally believe that in the fullness of time that an ethnic station should be an ethnic station. And what we've got to do is we have to find ways of measuring -- first off, we have to find ways of delivering programs that the ethnic communities are going to watch. I mean, it's got to be top quality.
1686 Secondly then, we've got to measure that and then sell that to advertisers. Our commitment to the Commission is to start with 68 percent. We would want some flexibility. We would still be higher at 60 percent than any ethnic station in this country. So we say we'll exceed it. Our plan is to start with 68. We think we can make that work with the schedule that you have in front of you, but we obviously don't want to create a -- you know, we want to have some flexibility if there's a problem arising.
1687 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. The 68 was the same as the 86, just so we don't get confused. I said 86 hours --
1688 MR. HOLTBOY: Yes. I was talking percentages, and you were talking hours.
1689 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Hours.
1690 MR. HOLTBY: I'm having trouble with these numbers, too.
1691 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. Andrew, that really helped, 86, 68.
1692 Before we complete the programming, there is the non-ethnic component, the other 40 hours a week, and I think at this point though, we can take a break, and we'll complete that and then do independent production and the demand studies. So if you'd like, this is the time to take a bit of a breather.
1693 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Pennefather, if you'll allow me to ask a question about news.
1694 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Sure.
1695 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am not a broadcaster, but I'm learning through various hearings, et cetera. I remain puzzled about what the local component of newscasts will be. Will it just be news, so and so was robbed, or so and so won the mayoralty election, or will there be more in it, or will that be somewhere else, like in your Lifestyles programming?
1696 One of the things I have learned recently, because when we renewed the large players in the industry, CTV Global, there is, as you know, a concern expressed that local programming is disappearing from these stations, so we focus on what is local programming. And going down the list of programs, I saw various things that looked good to me for attaching yourself to the community, being engaging, and I thought, well, that's disappearing. No, no, no, it's not, it's in the newscast. And there would be things like -- I don't remember them so I made them up, and if you like them I won't charge you for them. It would be something like, Today's Sunshine Child in West Vancouver, every day or once a week in the news, and then The Most Active Sikh Elderly Lady in Surrey, or Parenting Chinese-Canadian Toddlers in Richmond. I hope I have these communities right. And to my surprise, this was in the newscasts, and the answer was, well, no, it's not disappearing, that local component that attaches you to the community and makes it feel it's their station - and this could be in Ottawa, this can be in a large city - was actually counted as local news.
1697 Where is this type of thing, if it's done, where will it be in your newscast; in the Lifestyles, or could it be in the newscast? I'm trying to figure out what proportion, because both applicants will be local and a large amount of their local programming is news, and we asked about ratios. "Well, it's not going to be the same today, and it's not going to be the same tomorrow," but what is going to be there, just news, or will there be some of this engaging material that reflects a community because it's very local? You know, it's Parenting Toddlers on 42nd Street, or whatever, which comes up regularly and people supply this to the station. Is there going to be some of that, and where, is more my question. Where's that going to be?
1698 I didn't ask the question yesterday of the other one because I didn't think about it, but is that possibly going to be in the newscasts? I have trouble when I look at the number of hours of local programming and say, well, what is going to be in there.
1699 MR. HOLTBY: Madam Chair, if you look at a newscast, and I share your view that news isn't all bad news.
1700 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not just bad news, maybe the most elderly Sikh lady is only 35. That's not good news, is it? I mean something other than at such and such an hour this place burned down.
1701 MR. HOLTBY: That's what I'm getting at. It's sensational. You're talking about lifestyle stories. And one of the successes in my prior life at BCTV, their hour news, it had lifestyle features every day, and it would be as simple as going and talking to some kids that were on the street playing broomball or whatever. They've done research, and it's one of the most important components of that newscast. And obviously we have a real challenge with serving 22 different communities in 22 languages. And your point is well taken, and you have to have that kind of material, the lifestyle, the human interest, the reflection of the community back to itself. In the case of Chinese and South Asian, it has to be part of the component of the newscast, there's no question about that.
1702 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was more practical than you think. I didn't think that in the Chinese story you would have something a about a Sikh old lady. You know, it'll have to be relevant if you're doing Chinese news. But my question was more, what's going to be in there that will be relevant?
1703 MR. HOLTBY: But there's cross-cultural stories as well. There's celebrations that go on in the South Asian community, or the Chinese community, or these other communities that are of interest. I go with my family to them myself and, frankly, a lot of them are covered in the mainstream media as well, the dragon boat races, those kinds of things.
1704 We want to reflect the community back to itself. We're going to be very responsive, and as we've said, one of the cornerstones of this application is we've got a 13-member advisory council, volunteers that are doing this for a love of city and love of their cultures, their communities.
1705 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but Mr. Holtby, the reality and the practices, your people, your staff's going to be programming the station. I can see the advisory council, but I fail to see how Senator Carney or Lucy Roschat's going to tell you, "It would be a great idea if you did this." I mean, it will be up to the station and its staff to provide a context, and say if you have these vignettes every day or once a week, or whatever, people will provide them to you from the outside. You don't have to do it from in-house, but the advisory council, I suspect, is going to tell you what the community wants, but you have to convince us that you know what you're doing in the more every minute and every day business.
1706 MR. HOLTBY: It's consultation and advice that we will be seeking, and I can assure you Madam Chair, I've got to know this council now over the last seven months, and I can assure you that they're no shrinking violets and if they --
1707 MS. DEOL: We don't have a wallflower among us.
1708 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, but they are not going to find that sick lady or that sunshine child.
1709 MS. DEOL: Oh, yes, we are. That is what -- no, no, no.
1710 THE CHAIRPERSON: The advisory council?
1711 MS. DEOL: The advisory council, believe me, these people are sick of my opinions. Like, that's exactly what I'm saying, is that when I talk to them, I said, "Look, you guys have to be relevant to more than just someone who doesn't speak English, because culture is not just language. It's not just how you dress. Culture is a mindset. It's an attitude to your life. That is what culture is." And when you have a news hour, okay, I think that's a perfect time to talk about the culture clash that we have all gone through. We have gone through, "Well, why does it matter if I speak my language"; "Why can't I go out at night when all the other kids do?" Geoffrey has dealt with his kids saying, "Well, guess what, I have a non-Chinese boyfriend," you know. Bob was talking about how his kids don't speak the language. I mean these are all issues that we all talk about every day in our everyday lives. They matter to us, where are our people going.
1712 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. I understand that, but these are --
1713 MS. DEOL: So in the hour-long newscast, that's a perfect time to do stories, you know, to get the different points of view, to get people talking. Those are human interest stories that you're not going to see on, you know, a mainstream newscast. They don't have the time worry about our culture clashes with our parents, or why does it matter that my kids speak the language, or know anything about being Indian when their father hasn't been to India. I mean, these are all things that can be part of that hour-long newscast that are human interest stories, along with celebrating - celebrating just who we are in everyday life.
1714 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those type of vignettes, that approach, that creation of a context that allows a community to participate, may well be within those hours of newscasts --
1715 MS. DEOL: Absolutely.
1716 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- as opposed to in the Lifestyles? That's the answer to the question I was asking.
1717 MR. HO: Madam Chair, just let me give you once quick example. Being local here is not just being local. Being local here means that we are relevant, we are responsible, we are accountable, and we have our ears and eyes to the pulse of the community. Let me just give you one very surprising information that we found out being here. Scandinavian, for example. When we did this program, we look into it. I say, "Why does anybody want to do Scandinavian? They are not anywhere. They are not on Shaw. They've been asked to leave because they don't have enough viewers". But, guess what? We found out if you combined all the Scandinavian people, all the people living in the Lower Mainland, there are about 120,000 of them. Now, that's not a small number. So we came out with a different program schedule for them. So we're going to have Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish. We also found out this is what we can broadcast in the news hour, because it is a huge changing trend that we are noticing our own community that's going to affect the rest of the community.
1718 Guess what? Some of the children that's born, the third generation children that's born in this part of the world, they're starting to learn their own language, and the number has jumped four-fold in the last three years. It's amazing. And it's going to be an interesting news item. Of course this is cross-culture that we'd be talking about. And guess what? We're going to promote that program, Scandinavian Lifestyle, on Saturday morning. We're going to tell them. We're going to show you more about this, what's happening to this situation, watch this Scandinavian lifestyle. So there's going to be a cross-promotion.
1719 I think the news is not just, like you say, like everybody's saying, just simply the news, because a lot of news will be covered by what's happening in your community. That's the trend, what's happening here. So if you want to know more, go to these Lifestyles, you know, and we'll have a small segment of that and tell you a little more detail about it, but a lot of it's perhaps not newsworthy or news relevant type of hour, but watch it during that time.
This is the type of situation we will also pay close attention.
1720 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for that. Thank you, Commissioner Pennefather for indulging me.
1721 When we say we're going to be local and then newscasts are counted as local completely, it's made up of international, national and local news, the question remains, what is in there. And as I say, I was surprised to find out that things that are not really news, but are lifestyle interest stories that engage a community were indeed in the newscast. Then the question of, is there just a little bit of local news and a lot of national news becomes clearer as to what's in there, so thank you for the clarification.
1722 MR. SEGAL: Madam Chair, just before we leave the subject à propos the question that you raised vis-à-vis the board that we have, the voluntary board, advisory board.
1723 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm joining it.
I found the job for my retirement. Stick my nose into everything.
1724 MR. SEGAL: No, but I think it was a very good question. I assume that the board appreciates the fact that we went to a great deal of trouble to select an advisory board that will not be a token board, that is a responsive board and has the ability to network within this community and provide to us the advice that we need to fill the needs in the community and build a successful television station.
1725 THE CHAIRPERSON: I hope Commissioner Cardozo's taking notes because he'll be discussing that further with you. We'll now take a break and we'll be back in 10 minutes. Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1025 / Suspension à 1025
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1035 / Reprise à 1035
1726 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Pennefather, please.
1727 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. Back to our questions on programming, and we'll look at the block of non-ethnic programming, the 40 hours a week. Mr. Ho?
1728 MR. HO: Can I just -- sorry.
1729 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Go ahead.
1730 MR. HO: I just want to make a little bit of a correction here. The programming that we're just mentioning about the program about ethnic, English ethnic --
1731 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes.
1732 MR. HO: -- Sounds Right Tonight, I mentioned it's English. Actually part of it will be bilingual as well. In other words, part of the program could be aired during the hour English as well as certain bilingual, some other ethnic language in there.
1733 And then I also mentioned about international movies. We have allocated international movies there not just for the international, but also, you know, it is not our intention to categorize Canadian movie to be in the international side, but that's just the room. We cannot say international, Canadian, or Canadian international. So we rather use the name because it's a better reflection, but we're also building the rooms to have Canadian movies in there as well. So I just wanted to clarify these two points. Thank you.
1734 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you for that. I guess as we sort all this out it will become clear. Basically the overview of this is to get a sense of how the program schedule and the programs you're choosing really meet the needs of the audiences you're proposing to reach, and how it's complementary, since you state quite a bit of your argument on the complementarities not just of the scheduling, but of the content.
1735 So I think that's helpful and I think the discussion with the Chair was also very important in terms of understanding what's on the screen in the final analysis. Actually, we'll come back to that at the end just to wrap up a little bit the various pieces of the puzzle, but there is a very large component we're going to touch on now, which is the big blocks called English on the schedule. Some of it is ethnic, but a lot of it is non-ethnic, 40 hours a week, and I have some questions which are related to your letter dated July 30th in response to deficiency questions, so I'll repeat what's in there just so you know where I'm getting this information.
1736 On page 2 of that letter you state that the English block periods will contain Canadian and foreign acquired English programming. Can you provide the Commission with any further details about how much of this programming would be Canadian and, in addition, could you provide any further information as to what the Canadian programming would consist of?
1737 MR. HOLTBY: I'm sorry, Commissioner, is that a question that was in the letter, or is that a question --
1738 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It's an expansion on your response in the letter, Question 1, paragraph 2.
1739 MR. HOLTBY: Okay.
1740 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: "We'll acquire the best program titles available from Canadian and U.S. distributors." So we assume Canadian -- what are the Canadian programs that you're talking about?
1741 MR. HOLTBY: For purposes of the application, we've identified the entire 40 hours as American for our calculations, but we recognize that there is now being produced some fabulously quality Canadian programs, and there's some good strip programs in Canadian, and as James just talked about, movies that are Canadian. Of course those are all subject to rights issues and we now see Canadian going through various windows, you know, from theatres to television and now to pays and now to repeat pay systems, but our intention would be to acquire some Canadian so we could broadcast it. That gives us some added flexibility in doing some other things, perhaps some additional foreign ethnic, if we have some Canadian in that time block, so there's some benefits to the television station.
1742 As far as the American goes, we've identified in the application expressions of interest from CHUM and Craig, that would be willing to work with us. We have also, since the filing of the application, we have been in discussions with CTV, and they would make product available to us, and obviously since we are in the same business, but not competing with each other, should we be successful, we would certainly work with CFMT as well.
1743 I think Global has some national rights product that they like to lay off. I think the Commission's is well aware that some of the bigger companies get forced upon them product that they don't necessarily want or need, so there's a benefit to everybody. Of course we'll deal with distributors as well.
1744 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Just to go back to the beginning then. You've run through the whole picture. So if I understand, you don't have any precise information on what kind of Canadian programs that you were talking about for potential acquisition?
1745 MR. HOLTBY: Well, I've got some --
1746 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You seem to say it's all American, but maybe some Canadian. Do you have any idea of what kind of Canadian programming you would be looking for?
1747 MR. HOLTBY: Well, I think the first programs that would likely be made available would be some movies. I mean, I would personally love to see a show like SCTV on the service. I mean, I was involved in that. I was executive producer. There was 185 half hours. But that show, I think, has been sold to the comedy networks. So there's rights issues, what's available. But each year we're creating more inventory, and there's a lot of, as you well know, there's a lot of Canadian product available, and we would like to take advantage of that and buy some of that for broadcast, and then that gives us some additional flexibility to perhaps get some foreign ethnic in the schedule as well.
1748 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Leaving aside the business side of this for the moment, I have to say that the demand studies are clear that your viewers, the ethnic viewers, are going to be watching programming mostly in the evening, and we could get back to challenge that if you like, but that's what your research studies are telling us in the Ipsos Reid study. I would have thought that since we are saying that this programming block in the evening will be watched by your ethnic viewers, that you would be steered in your choice of programming by that audience.
And so I was wondering, wouldn't you find it interesting to get some Canadian programming in that mix in the evening? I recognize there's a business side here, and we'll get to that and what some of the real bottom line issues are in this programming block, but wouldn't you have some programming incentive to include Canadian product in this block, even though I recognize there's a business angle to this, considering that this is where most of your ethnic viewers are going to be watching you.
1749 MR. HOLTBY: Well, a show that comes to mind is a show like DeGrassi, which would clearly fit in. I thought what your question was, have you identified which show that you would be buying. You know, we haven't gone that far and there certainly is rights issues, but clearly what our intention is, is to have programming that reflects to the community. We have made a commitment that, wherever possible, we will purchase programs that will have a positive portrayal of ethnics, and be reflective of those communities wherever we can. We're well aware of some discussions that went on yesterday, but we made this commitment in our application.
1750 As far as the Canadian goes, it's going to be a matter of rights, but it would our intention to acquire some Canadian, and I've given you some examples, like DeGrassi would just be, to me, would be superb. It would fit as far as time period. We have to be sensitive to that as well. The schedule is between 6:00 and eight o'clock at night, so there's certainly a lot of strip product that you wouldn't ever broadcast during that time period. It wouldn't be appropriate for that time period.
1751 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I do recognize some of the business plan issues that are related to this, and my colleague will be pursuing that in greater detail, but the point of my comment was really that how the overall programming philosophy of the vision that Multivan is putting together would come to bear even in face of those economic issues on this very significant block of programming.
1752 You mentioned rights. Looking at the nitty-gritty now of this block, it is, we recognize, sometimes difficulty for regional broadcasters to obtain the rights to foreign English programming, since other broadcasters with larger or even national distribution networks can easily surpass regional bids and obviously programs are bought, national rights are bought. Could you comment on Multivan's purchasing power and whether you anticipate problems in the acquisition of rights with respect to the type of programming you're looking for, Canadian and foreign?
1753 MR. HOLTBY: Well, as the Commission is well aware, the big conventional broadcasters, Global, CTV, CBC to a small extent now, and CHUM now, and I think with the decision yesterday that they'll be even a bigger player, they buy national rights for the product that they want to broadcast. We all go down to Los Angeles at the same time, and historically it's been the CBC. They would get first pick because nobody could bid against CBC, but the big players, they buy their product, and as I mentioned to you, there are instances where a network would want to buy a couple of shows from an American supplier, and that supplier will package that up with a strip.
1754 This is one of the big problems that we had at CTV. I was on the board of CTV, as you know, and CTV would want to buy ER for example, and the distributor would say, "Well, if you want ER, we want you to buy this strip," and they would force it on them. And that's why when CTV bought, it actually bought more product, ended up having more product that it needed for the network, and it would sell that off and the stations ended up buying some of that.
1755 So the main players, conventional players, get first pick. What we would be doing, of course, if we couldn't end up with any kind of an association with anybody, we would end up buying after all of those. We couldn't compete against Global for a strip show. It's not possible as a local broadcaster.
1756 But my experience in television goes back to 1974, and when we got our television station in Edmonton in '74, there was no local independent in Vancouver or Calgary or Winnipeg at that time. We ended up buying after the networks and did quite well, and we ended up creating a consortium that would buy product along with Global and CHCH.
1757 So what I see happening with this station is that if the decision is in our favour the first call that this company would make would be to CFMT to work with them, because we're in the same business and we don't compete with them.
1758 When we launched our statement in Edmonton in '74, I think the first television that Izzy Asper was in was our station. When he got his licence, he came and we helped him, gave him some advice on how to launch his station in Winnipeg. That happened after. And so I would think the first call we would make would be to CFMT to see what product we could work with. We have a commitment from our friends at CITY and also with Craig that they would work with us, and also with CTV.
1759 I know all of the principals of all of those companies, and the bottom line is, if they have inventory that they own the rights to, to Vancouver, and they don't have an outlet or a use for it, they would want to sell it off, and I see absolutely no issue at all, no problem at all for this station to survive.
1760 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So, in sum, if I understand, you're saying that as a regional broadcaster, you will have a challenge to acquire rights to this kind of programming which will support 80 percent of your advertising revenue. So what you've turned to, if I follow you are agreements with Craig and CHUM. Are these written agreements?
1761 MR. HOLTBY: We have letters from them, and also a letter from CTV. The problem that MVBC would face would be no different than the problem that CFMT faces today. They are a stand-alone, for all intents and purposes, have been for many years a stand-alone multilingual station, and they buy product from Global. They buy a lot of product that Global has the rights for, and they buy it for their market, and I understand from what they said yesterday they buy some national rights.
1762 Well, if they have national rights, with the licensing of MVBC in this market, it gives them another outlet to sell to. Obviously, they've got others. They could sell to KVOS, that I guess, as I understand, they are doing, but they would have a Canadian alternative, and I think, Commissioner, that they would be selling to us. We would be doing things together. It just makes sense. In the news area back -- I'm going back in history, because I'm a little bit of a dinosaur, I guess, in the broadcast industry, but when we had our independent station we had no way of getting Ottawa news.
1763 We were an independent station in Western Canada and there was no others, and so we worked with both CITY and CHCH, who compete in the same market at the time, but we created a new service called Satellite Independent News which the three of us funded, and we set up a bureau in Ottawa to get Ottawa news so we could look after our viewers, and that's what you do. Even though there was no common ownership between those three companies, even though CITY and CHCH competed with each other in the same market for advertisers, we cooperated, because it was all in our vested best interests.
1764 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So again, you recognize the challenge to a regional broadcaster in terms of obtaining rights for the kind of strip programming that you're likely to try to schedule in those blocks, so you have these arrangements with Craig and CHUM and you say CTV as well?
1765 MR. HOLTBY: CTV.
1766 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And Ethnic Canadian Broadcasters, anything confirmed at this point, anything --
1767 MR. HOLTBY: No. For obvious reasons, we haven't sat down with the people at CFMT to talk about how we could work together, but I have every confidence that that would happen. When you say a challenge, I mean, clearly it's not as easy to run a local television station as it would be if you cover 90 percent of the country. I mean, you'd just have such a bigger base to play from, a bigger yard, and obviously more money to pay on a per hourly basis. But there's lots of programs available. There's lots of strip available. As I pointed out, there are distributors that can't get it placed in this country, so they force it on you. I mean, the last thing CTV wanted was to, in those days, is to get their hands on the strip that they had no place to broadcast it, but they had to do that to acquire shows that were important for them on their schedule.
1768 Business is a challenge, but at the end of the day every broadcaster cooperates, and unless they compete head-to-head, you know, we're not competition with CFMT, and we're really not in direct competition with CTV and others. In fact, they have not indicated that at all. In my conversation with Ivan Fassan, he sees this as very much a complementary service to what they're providing here. They're mainstream television and he recognizes this is multilingual.
1769 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's the point I want to pursue with you, the diversity that this programming may or may not offer to the market. I'm sure that Commissioner Wilson will pursue it from the angle of the effect that the situation will have on your revenues. This is the component of the day that is going to pull in, I think it's 80 percent or so of your revenues.
1770 MR. HOLTBY: Yes.
1771 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That is the model that we're looking at, a model that is a challenging one, but there it is. But from the point of view of the kind of programming we're talking about, and we can guess what some of those titles might be, how will what you program in this time frame add diversity to what's available in the market, to our ethnic viewers or to mainstream viewers for that matter?
1772 MR. HOLTBY: Well, when we look at what's available on the dial here - we're talking the 6:00 to 8:00 and the 10:00 to 12:00 time periods - if you look at what's available in Vancouver, all of the Canadian conventional services and all of the conventional American networks have news at six o'clock. Well, there are people out there that are not terribly in news and it's quite a big block. There's a lot of people, as you were told yesterday, and they have outlets now with specialty services and other options if they want to watch television. We think we can deliver a schedule that will attract them to our station and, of course, obviously our hope would be do some simulcast if that could be done.
1773 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So simulcast. So in other words, yes, I recognize the point the programming from 5:00 to 8:00, and particularly the 5:00 to 6:00, or 6:00 to 7:00, that's already being done, where rather than watch the news, one can watch the Simpson's or Frasier or whatever. That's usually what turns up in those hours. How is what you're going to program in that time frame different? It's the same model, but how will the shows available be different, and how will they meet the interests of your ethnic viewers, or do you worry about that?
1774 MR. HOLTBY: Well, clearly, we would want to create a schedule that would be of interest to everyone, but the reality is that depending on which ethnic community you're talking about, and whether it's first generation or second or third, whether or not its interest is, you know, varies. What are we offering differently than already available? Well, first off, we'd be offering it on a Canadian service. It would be strip that would be available on a Canadian service. It wouldn't necessarily be the same strip that's coming over from FOX or from KVOS. That issue will only be dealt with once you establish what the rights are and who owns them and what it costs, but it is clearly an alternative to currently what's available. I mean, I guess the question that we could ask back is what else is available? The reality is to attract an audience you can either do it with strip or first-run American or movies. Well, you know, CHUM, as you well know, has tied the movie business up, and they now have two outlets in Greater Vancouver, and they're in the movie business.
1775 In the first-run American, we've talked about that availability of first-run American. The reality is Global have two outlets here that they're differentiating, CTV, when you get past those, there's not a lot of product out there, and they're strip. And one thing about strip is the consistency of viewing, that people know at six o'clock there is that particular show that interests them. It would not make programming sense to do four days of a strip, and then have one hour of a first-run show, for example, if you were able to get a first-run show.
1776 So we are providing diversity through additional viewing options to the public. We have said that we will be, wherever possible, we'll be sensitive to our ethnic communities, and try and find some reflection back, and I mentioned DeGrassi, and there's others too. It was mentioned yesterday the Cosby Show, even though it's American culture, but we're very sensitive to that. But you're absolutely right, it comes down to that's where the meat and potatoes are today. I think, in the fullness of time, if we do our job right, that we're going to be less reliant on American.
1777 When I started in broadcasting 20 years ago, nobody thought you could ever make money on Canadian. Well, that in fact is not the case now. I mean, the most important show on BCTV is their news hour. They have a larger audience with that show than any other show, the top American, whatever. It's very relevant. They do a very good job, and again we see now Canadian hours that are done that are attracting big audiences. And so I think in the fullness of time, we're going to see exactly the same thing happen with ethnic broadcasting. If ethnic broadcasters do a good job and provide relevant, informative product that people want to watch, then I think that the ethnic programming will eventually be able to stand on its own.
1778 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I recognize that, but we are talking about the nitty-gritty of this block, and as you, yourself, have just said, this goes back to my point about - and I couldn't let you get away with that - it's why you wouldn't acquire Canadian programming when you, yourself, said it is now probably more lucrative than it was. But I take your points. I was just trying to get a sense of what the shows will be that you would go for in that time frame and how they would add diversity for mainstream audiences as well to the market, because the effect of that block of programming is on the market as a whole, and what's available here in, understandably, a very changing market.
1779 I'd like to turn to the question of the independent sector and go back over all the programming from the point of view of your relationship with the independent sector, so if we circle back to some of the same questions, you'll understand it's from the angle of understanding what that relationship is, specifically, and in as much detail as possible. And that will bring us back, for example, to the Lifestyles programming and how it works. I'll be referring to your supplementary brief and to the July 30th letter again.
1780 In your supplementary brief, in several places, page 3, page 12, page 19, for example, you talk about your commitment to work with the independent producers, particularly from the deep pool of highly qualified Vancouver producers. You talk about the wealth of talent, the wealth of local talent. You say that Vancouver's blessed with an abundance of talent. Now, one would assume from these statements that your schedule would offer many opportunities for work with the independent sector, and I think today we've heard a little bit more which clarifies this, but it was surprising that not until the July 30th letter did we get any indication of how much of that production would be undertaken by the independent sector. And in that letter you talked about the 16 percent, and in your presentation yesterday, and again this morning, you mentioned 10 hours. So where we're at now is that you're talking about 16 percent of your schedule, 10 hours per week being undertaken by the independent sector; is that correct?
1781 MR. HOLTBY: That's correct. I think it's important that we understand what we're referring to with independent producers.
1782 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. That's my next question.
1783 MR. HOLTBY: I'm getting a little confused listening to it. It's a different --
1784 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well, why don't you then take us through that? There's a couple questions. Who are we talking about, and how do you define a local independent producer? And then we'll look at the different ways you will associate yourself with the independent community and your schedule. So if you want to then clarify for us, what do you mean by independent producer?
1785 MR. HOLTBY: I think we want to talk about the global definition - not the global Global definition - the small G global definition of independent producer. What we did was we identified and our deficiencies shows that fall under the industry understanding of what an independent producer. It's where the independent producer owns the copyright, exploits the product, and moves it on, and we identified some shows that would fall into that category.
1786 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So, to be clear, you're talking about Yoga and You, Tai Chi, Mind and Body, Ethnic Cooking, Table by the Exit, Sounds Right Tonight --
1787 MR. HOLTBY: And we also --
1788 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: (Indiscernible) would be produced by independent producers who will end up owning the rights to these programs?
1789 MR. HOLTBY: That's correct, and also perhaps even some movies as well. I think we also mentioned that as well.
1790 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Who will pay then for these? Who will cover the costs of these programs?
1791 MR. HOLTBY: Well, with an independent producer, that's part of the job of being an independent producer. If you want to own the copyright, you have to provide whatever funding that's there, find the sources for the funding.
1792 Now, in the case of those particular shows, what we have done is we have recognized the entire cost of producing those shows in our financials. But the reality is, if an independent producer wants to own the copyright, he would likely have other avenues, and other investors, and he would own the copyright, and potentially other markets. For example, the movie, we wouldn't support, and we couldn't support the entire cost of a movie, and that would be a situation where we would be providing, you know, high licence fees and perhaps even some equity, if it was required for the independent producer.
1793 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Just before we go down the road to far, if you talk about the independent production community, the first step is you're saying an independent producer, as we understand it globally, are you talking about those independent producers who are local in the terms you defined, local in our other conversations, the Greater Vancouver area, or are you talking about British Columbia?
1794 MR. HOLTBY: Well, that's where it gets a little confusing. What we did was we identified, I think, 25 independent producers that, as I said earlier, have other careers and that's their profession and -- it's one of their professions as producers. Some of them that's their only profession.
1795 Baljit's involved in some big productions that are coming over from South Asia. And we've identified those producers, and many of those producers have indicated that they would like to be involved in providing the local content and producing the local content for the show, or for the schedule.
1796 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
1797 MR. HOLTBY: So the independent producer that we identified from the Italian community may very well produce the Italian show. But the reality is that is a local show. It doesn't have any relevance, probably any sale outside of Vancouver. So they would be looking for us to fund it all to pay for their work. But I still consider those an independent producer. They're not an independent producer from a conventional broadcasting perspective, but this isn't conventional broadcasting, and when you're running a television station you can have five or six producers in your television station that can do a number of things.
1798 In ethnic broadcasting that would not be a proper or realistic way of operating the station, because you have a producer like myself who's English-speaking and I was born here, but how would I possibly be able to interpret and produce a show that's relevant for the Vietnamese community? It's not possible.
1799 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I understand.
1800 MR. HOLTBY: So what we're saying is we will have producers that obviously will do our day- to-day, our news, information and those shows.
1801 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. So let's go through it that way. The news component, is that produced in-house?
1802 MR. HOLTBY: That would be all in- house. It would be our people that would be producing the news.
1803 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So the news is the First Chinese News, the First South Asian News, which is repeated twice, original, and 7-7-7-7?
1804 MR. HOLTBY: Yes.
1805 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And it's all produced in-house.
1806 MR. HOLTBY: And in that case we've also said that they will be separate editors and separate news directors because, again, we don't think that a news director that has, you know, has a Chinese flavour and is able to deliver what is relevant to the Chinese community can necessarily do a good job on the South Asian or vice versa, so we've said they'll be separate. So we will actually have separate producers. That's unheard of in conventional broadcasting. That's a good example. You would have a news director and you would have -- you know, he'd be responsible, could be responsible, for three or four different newscasts.
1807 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: This relates as well, in terms of how this is working to the Chair's earlier question, so let's go through it a little more slowly.
1808 MR. HOLTBY: Sure.
1809 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The news component, the Chinese news, you say it will be produced in-house. So on staff you will have the camera persons and the writers and the editors and those out with the cameras and crews to pick up the stories.
1810 MR. HOLTBY: Absolutely.
1811 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You will also have news editors who will decide how the package is finally put together. Are you saying as well, that you will have on staff editors from different communities who can also add a flavour to the Chinese news which would interest that community?
1812 MR. HOLTBY: There's no question that there's going to be a sharing of stories and information between all of the producers. I would think that if we use an example of the Vietnamese producer for example, and that could be a story that's very relevant for the Chinese or South Asian newscast. It's a melting pot in the station, and I would see them exchanging that information with those.
1813 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
1814 The next step then, is we take the Lifestyles programs. These, on the other hand, will be produced by independent producers, and I'm assuming they are some, if not all, or even more of the list of 25 included in your application are the ones we're talking about, independent producers, local independent producers who will prepare the Lifestyles programs. They will produce them and you will pay for the entire program?
1815 MR. HOLTBY: That's correct.
1816 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And that's in your expenses, your operating expenses?
1817 MR. HOLTBY: All those shows have been fully budgeted out, yes.
1818 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And who will retain the rights for those shows?
1819 MR. HOLTBY: I mean, if a producer wished to own the rights, I don't think we would have a problem with that. As I said earlier, I don't really think that they will have relevance outside of the Lower Mainland, but that's just something that, you know, we're very flexible in that regard.
1820 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The importance of that too, is you state several times in your supplementary brief as I recall, that you stake a lot on the potential for sales of the independent producer product you're involved in elsewhere in Canada and internationally. So we'll have to clear that up.
1821 MR. HOLTBY: I don't think --
1822 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I guess you weren't referring to the Lifestyles programs then?
1823 MR. HOLTBY: No, no. In fact, I don't think we've recognized any revenue from sales of any of our shows in our pro formas.
1824 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You do say in the supplementary brief - we'll come to that in a moment - that there is potential for, and you will help in the dissemination of some of this product to Canada and abroad?
1825 MR. HOLTBY: Oh, yes. I think that's in the section where we talk about our creative development office. I mean, that's one of our responsibilities would be to help the producer identify markets, identify investors, and help them in any way we can.
1826 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Which of the shows on your schedule will you co-produce? I think we listed the Greek show and the other magazine shows.
1827 MR. MOY: Greek, South Asian.
1828 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Right.
1829 MR. MOY: Drama.
1830 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And these are co-productions with the independent producers; local independent producers, or producers across Canada?
1831 MR. MOY: We hope to be able to co-produce with local producers, but if the opportunity arises, then we'd like to work with a Canadian producer not located in British Columbia, and that may be, you know may be CFMT, or it could be in Montreal as well, too. There's an ethnic station there as well. So perhaps the opportunity may arise where we can work together. And I think Doug mentioned that earlier about that, you know, that there are opportunities should we be awarded the licence, that we would find a way to work together.
1832 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. Is there any other component --
1833 MR. HO: I'm sorry, Commissioner, can I just also add to it? It's not also limited to the producers in this country. Sometimes there are other producers outside of this country who are interested in finding certain aspects of what's happening in this country, and they would want to produce a small series of films about what's happening in B.C.
1834 You know, we will be taking a look at it as well, because there's another perspective that nobody else is taking a look at it, but they'll be doing something that's about Canada, about maybe a certain ethnic community. We will also be looking to work with them to help them to source the funds, et cetera. And there's been a couple of occasions that we have done that through our radio station last year as well. You know, it's been happening, so --
1835 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So you anticipate in your schedule and in your budget the potential for co-production and/or acquiring of independently produced product from either Canadian producers or international producers; is that correct?
1836 MR. HO: Yes, but I would say the majority of that is coming from the local B.C. producers, to some extent national, and to a much lesser extent, maybe one out of two years that, like I say, it comes far in between, but we will pay attention to that as well.
1837 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Let me ask it another way. Where on the schedule will we see the work of local, independent producers?
1838 MR. HO: Again, we are getting a very flexible schedule within our own schedule here. One of the things that if you take a look at the hours of our programs, say for instance, Table by the Exit, Sounds Right Tonight and Owners Away, well, we have calculated of all these programs together, because there are 13 episodes and 13 repeats, with all these programs being aired, with all the repeat being aired, we still have 22 hours. That's just part of the flexibility that we build in to our program.
1839 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So the 16 percent, the 10 hours of independent production, where is that? Is it all the Lifestyles programming?
1840 MR. HOLTBY: Commissioner, as we've said in our deficiency, we said it could be shows like Yoga and You, Tai Chi. We talked about movies. We talked about Table by the Exit and Sounds Right Tonight. We gave those as examples. As we sit here today, we do not have an independent producer assigned to those particular shows. They're actually ideas that came up through consultation with our various groups here. But they could very well be.
1841 What we've said is a minimum of 10 hours a week would utilize independent producers, and when I say independent producers, I mean producers that would be producing for national sale and other market sale, but also producing just for this local market, that it may end up at the end of the day that the Korean Lifestyles, that the only place that that show is broadcast is on this station.
1842 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: See, that's why I'm trying to get this clear, because earlier you said that Lifestyles would be produced by independent producers, but unlikely it would be useful elsewhere, saleable in other markets.
1843 MR. HOLTBY: That's right.
1844 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So I understand that the independent production community were involved in the production of Lifestyles; that's part of the 10 hours.
1845 MR. HOLBY: Yes. I guess the problem we're having is, I mean, maybe I could say that everyone would be with an independent producers, but when you talk to them, some say, "I'd rather be a service producer," and there may be additional work for them on, you know, within the station and they'd like to be an employee. So we've tried to give the Commission a sense for what our commitment is, that's it's a minimum of 10. It very well could be all of the Lifestyle shows could be produced by people who are not in the employ of the station, because, as I said, people that are involved in the community that understand the community are best equipped to produce for that community, and we can't have 20 different producers on board that all they do is produce, you know, if we're paying them full time, producing one hour a day -- or one hour a week, pardon me. It's just not possible and they wouldn't be busy.
1846 So, as I've said, some of these producers have other things that they're doing and they would love to come on board. The problem I've had with all of this discussion is it doesn't follow the same -- the discussion isn't the same as conventional broadcasting, independent producers in conventional, you know what we're talking about. But this isn't conventional. It just doesn't work that way.
1847 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: No. It works the way it should work for --
1848 MR. HOLTBY: For ethnic.
1849 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: -- an ethnic programming station, and one which also has a very particular and challenging mandate to reflect the needs of several communities.
1850 MR. HOLTBY: Yes.
1851 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: One of the ways of doing this, you've said yourself, is through the independent production community.
1852 MR. HOLTBY: Absolutely.
1853 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So it follows, I think, that we would want to examine how, where, and with what resources this is going to work. It seems to be a variety, and we recognize the flexibility at this stage of the game you're looking at, but I'm just trying to get a sense of the types of programs, the relationship with the independent community, and what that means financially as well.
And there's different ways to slice that question, so we'll look at it from another angle.
1854 MR. HOLTBY: I hope I've been clear, but I just want to mention one other thing. When you cost out our schedule and allocate it to the various hours, you and your analyst will realize that there's some $900,000 that hasn't been allocated to any specific show. And the reason for that is that we recognize that there are events that will be -- you have to have some extra money to cover special events that are not part of your regular schedule, and of course some of that would be available for independent producers as well, probably a good part of it.
1855 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: In fact, if you say some of it will be available, are you saying that -- and you said earlier that you would be involved possibly in the production of movies. By movies, do you mean feature-length films?
1856 MR. HOLTBY: I hope so.
1857 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Maybe movie of the week?
1858 MR. HOLTBY: Baljit was telling me that she was doing some work for a company out of South Asia that want to do a movie. Now, I mean, I don't think this station will be in a position in the first or second year, but why couldn't we enter into co-production with some of these other communities and produce a movie that a producer here in Vancouver has developed and -- and we find a market.
1859 I mean, clearly we wouldn't be able to fund it ourselves totally, but if you can find a market, you can find some investors overseas, or a good pre-licence agreement and produce that, I think that's -- we've got a very vibrant production community here, and not just conventional. The ethnic production community is very, very active.
1860 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So, forgive me if I repeat myself, it's just to be clear. The interface with that community through the production of the Lifestyles program is clear, but you also are putting some money in the budget, the programming expenses budget, to potentially co-produce a feature-length film, or possible films down the road?
1861 MR. HOLTBY: Yes.
1862 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
1863 MR. HO: Can I also add to what Mr. Holtby just mentioned about you know, who owns what and being export? What we have found in this situation, being an ethnic broadcaster in this part of the world for many years, what we have found is it's very difficult to export any of the program that's being produced locally. It's a very small market that has not been explored. However, with some success, we do export certain of our programs outside of this part of the world. I mean, we are also exporting part of our radio programs back to Hong Kong, to L.A., San Francisco, but it's many years of cultivations, many years of exploration.
1864 We've been through this situation. We know how difficult it is. So what we're saying is, we will try and will nurture this type of market, but we do not want to put it in our budget in there, you know, that we have not allocated any of the amount of money to be part of our revenue for the export market, simply because, like I say, it is a market still waiting to be explore. But with our background, with our experience, I do believe that we can nurture this market and make it a go. How successful it is, I still cannot tell, but there are people who are interested, you know, sourcing certain programs that are being aired locally. Remember, we have a lot of program that's coming in from foreign sources into this part of the country, being the specialty side. Remember, they are also looking from that source, also trying to find out what's happening in this country. Instead of them sending a crew of people into this part of the world to do filming, there's a possibility that we may utilize our own local talents and do whatever they require and send it to them.
1865 You know, there's a possibility of that but, like I say, we do not want that to be an overly optimistic situation, oversell it in our proposal at this moment, our supplementary brief. It is all built in there. You know, all these things we are aware of, we are looking out for, but we do not -- you know, they're so conservative. It's something that we have to watch out every single step, we also wanted to make sure that this is going to be a market that we can pursue down the road as well. As options, everything's there.
1866 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: If we take -- I recognize what you're saying and I think it's an important point we may want to come back to earlier in the balancing act that we look at when we talk about local production and the importance of that to communities, but if we look at it too, from the point of view of an independent producer and taking a view, a perspective on international issues or on local issues that are of great value to other communities as well, and we don't want to get ourselves caught, but I take your point, and mine as well, that we're trying to see what's in front of us as an application.
1867 If we look then at the independent production sector and your commitments, your plans, through the Lifestyles programming, through the potential for co-production of Lifestyles or other kinds of programming, through the potential for feature film, page 19 of your brief, you're going to encourage independent TV producers to develop these programs and spend 4.5 million over a seven-year licence term for ethnic programs in Western Canada. Now, let's break this 4.5 million down into the story we've just told about where independent is going and what it's doing. First of all, the 4.5 million, is that per year or over the seven years? Just taking a page out of the book. here. Just trying.
1868 MR. HOLTBY: That's a commitment over the seven years.
1869 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes. I'm-
1870 MR. HOLTBY: I mean, this is where perhaps we have not been as clear as we should have been. That is clearly identified, independent producers in the conventional definition, that they own the rights. It's a program that is exported. If we use the blotter definition of independent producers, the producers that will doing the Lifestyle shows that are local shows, it's more like $4,000,000 a year. It's between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000 a year we'd be spending on independent producers. So we've identified what those programs would likely be.
1871 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: All right.
1872 MR. HOLTBY: Does that make -- is that clear?
1873 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I'm going to finally look at 4.2 and go through that program expense list. I think that would be helpful. But let me just repeat. You're saying that the 4.5 million has nothing to do with the Lifestyles independent producers; that is in another part of the budget; that is programming expense in the global expense; the 4.5 million is over and above that for independent production that is in the nature of co-production, the nature of the feature film development, the nature of other kinds of programs. Am I correct? Is that what you're saying?
1874 MR. HOLTBY: Yes. As I said earlier, there's some $900,000 of program costs included in our financials that are not identified of any particular show, and what that is, is that's monies that's available to do specials and independent production that we just talked about would be part of that as well. And we have also included in our costing the cost of doing these Tai Chi, and Yoga and You, which could be independent production, and we've fully cost those out.
1875 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So the 4.5 million dollars commitment, independent production, refers to what exactly?
1876 MR. HOLTBY: It refers to independent productions that the independent producer owns the copyright for.
1877 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: What productions are those on your schedule?
1878 MR. HOLTBY: Well, we have not signed with any producer, but what we identified was, it would be shows like Yoga and You, and Tai Chi, and By the Door, and Sounds Right. I mean, those are examples of shows that potentially I think a producer would find of interest, that have potential of outside sales.
1879 A Spanish Lifestyle is not going to have any outside sales potential, I wouldn't think. Perhaps maybe on a specialty service or something, but unlikely. It's local. It's not likely to be relevant. COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: All right. The 4.5 million then, as your commitment to the independent sector, one of the criteria I'm hearing you say is that it's the kind of program which has potential for other markets; is that correct?
1880 MR. HOLTBY: That is correct.
1881 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Is the 4.5 million designed to cover all the cost of a typical production, or is it seed money?
1882 MR. HOLTBY: No. We have a separate budget for script and concept development, but it would be a sizeable portion, but each project the arrangements are different.
1883 It may mean with the independent producer that it's a pre-licence arrangement. It may mean that it's a pre-licence arrangement and debt financing, or a loan or equity financing. I mean, there's lots of different ways for the producer to do it.
1884 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Would this be limited to third language programming?
1885 MR. HOLTBY: Yes. That's what we're talking about, is third language, yes.
1886 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Limited to any particular group?
1887 MR. HOLTBY: No.
1888 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: How will the selection be made of these projects, or have you established guidelines, or how will you establish those guidelines if you haven't, and how will they be made public?
1889 MR. HOLTBY: Well, should we receive approval for this licence, the first step is to get into the consultation process with the respective communities.
1890 We've given you what we think is a realistic -- and it's a demonstration of the kind of programming that we will be doing. When we talk about lifestyle shows like Spanish or Italian, we have a number of proposals already. We would solicit more from the entire independent production community. Then they would be assessed with the help of the advisory council and community leaders in those communities and our own people, and then you would select a producer to get the show up and running for broadcast.
1891 So it's a long process, but we think it's important that we don't sit in an ivory tower, you know, in the building, and we decide what is relevant for these various ethnic communities. I think that's the wrong approach. It's not like conventional broadcasting where you've got somebody who walks in the door, and they meet with one person, and he says, "Gee, I think the majority of my audience will love that show," and they give a green light. There's going to be a consultation process if we're going to create shows that are reflective and relevant to our various communities.
1892 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Could I ask you to turn to 4.2 of the supplementary brief. I believe there was a revised version sent with the July 30th letter, and that's the one I'm looking at.
1893 MR. HOLTBY: Where, Commissioner?
1894 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Section 4.2, which is the list of programming expenses. I may have misled you. They may not be replacement pages. Let's just take the 4.2 of the brief.
1895 MR. HOLTBY: Right.
1896 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: All right?
1897 MR. HOLTBY: Yes.
1898 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: If we look at that 4.5 million dollar commitment to the independent production sector, where would I find it in the programming expenses on that grid?
1899 MR. HOLTBY: Well, it's 4.5 for over seven years.
1900 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Understood.
1901 MR. HOLTBY: So, roughly, 650,000 a year, and a good part of that would be in information, categories 2(a), 3, 4, and 5. Some of it would be in long form documentary. The 900,000 that I was telling you about, we do not have anything in our schedule that is long form documentary, category 2(b), and we have nothing in our schedule for regionally produced priority programming, 251.
1902 There's no shows attached to that 900,000, so that's where the 900 is. But the independent production would be in categories 2(b), 2(a), you know, that section. If we just look at the left-hand side, 2, 3, drama and comedy, obviously, independent producers would be involved, and could be involved in that, and music as well. Those shows are identified.
1903 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Those shows are identified -- the 4.5 million which I'm trying to paint here as a separate program just to get it clear, as a commitment to the independent production sector, and if our discussion has been clear, it's really programming that is over and above the schedule as we see it. It's potential programming in areas that are yet to be developed.
1904 You're saying to us that that 4.5 million is in this budget, in these program expenses, it's buried in there amongst the other programming expenses for these kind of programs that will appear on the schedule; is that correct?
1905 MR. HOLTBY: Yes, that's correct. It depends what shows come forward from independent producers that are funded, that's right.
1906 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The Lifestyles programming which will be produced by the independent sector as well, although it's --
1907 MR. HOLTBY: Right.
1908 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: -- not included in the 4.5 million --
1909 MR. HOLTBY: That's true.
1910 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: -- where is the money for that?
1911 MR. HOLTBY: Well, that's the third line, the $2,175,000 is mainly Lifestyles.
1912 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's in there?
1913 MR. HOLTBY: Yes.
1914 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You mentioned the development office?
1915 MR. HOLTBY: Yes.
1916 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Where's the budget for the development office?
1917 MR. HOLTBY: It's under Script and Concept Development, Canadian Programs not Telecast, $105,000 the first year.
1918 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Is that administrative expensive, or expenses to support the program to --
1919 MR. HOLTBY: Well, if you're going to do the job right, you have to have at least part of a person, maybe half or a whole person, but it would be -- then the rest would be development money.
1920 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So that $105,000 will not be entirely going to this script development; some of it will be administrative?
1921 MR. HOLTBY: Actually I should ask Phillip.
1922 MR. MOY: Commissioner, I would say that most it, or approximately, say 100 percent of it, is going towards the script and concept development versus administration.
1923 MR. HOLTBY: We have a person involved in this budgeted, so they must be in administration then.
1924 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: On that development program, since we're there, how will projects be assessed, and is this a separate project from the training program?
1925 MR. HOLTBY: How will projects be assessed?
1926 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: How will projects be assessed? Do you have criteria in place?
1927 MR. HOLTBY: Well, that's what we've been talking about this morning. You know, clearly, it would be programs that are local in character, they're relevant and sensitive and reflective of our respective communities. We have a commitment with the Commission here that we would do 22 hours. So, clearly, there would be a criteria about -- 22 languages, pardon me. So there would be a criteria about language that we'd have to deal with. There would be a criteria about quality, reflection for the community. There would an assessment made, as I said, by our independent advisory council, and the communities themselves.
1928 But the decisions at the end of the day, commissioner, would be made here in Vancouver for every hour of the schedule.
1929 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The development office I'm talking about says not to be telecast. Are you assuming that some of the projects supported through the development office will end up on the schedule?
1930 MR. HOLTBY: I would think so. I don't know why you would have a development office if you didn't want to -- I mean, the whole idea is to develop. But we're saying it's not immediate, that they're trying to develop things for the future, but there's no sense in having a development office if you're not going to bring it to reality. I mean, the whole idea is to develop it, and make the show happen.
1931 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The development office is also related to your comments in your brief in several places on the maturing and growing of the production community, and your concern to assist that development. You also propose a training program, which I assume to be separate?
1932 MR. HOLTBY: It's separate.
1933 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Can you describe that program to us, and also, again, indicate what its budget is and where that budget appears in the programming expenses.
1934 MR. HO: I can talk to you about the training side of things, and I would pass on the details of the training budgets over to Phillip.
1935 As far as the training is concerned, what we have found is that by consulting with the community, we have found a lot of these people in the community are very concerned about quality programs that we're going to air. And then the other problem that we have been experiencing throughout these last few years are the Multicultural Channel. First, it was owned for a long time by Rogers, and just recently turned over to Shaw Multicultural. Again, the impression that people have about these programs that's going to be aired over the TV stations are very low quality, low budget, low quality because, simply said, they do not have the budget to do it.
1936 So one of the main criteria that we're going to do is working with the independent producer who is going to be doing a lot of our programs. There has to be a certain standard. There has to be a certain quality. We try to train them, or work with them along the way, and to meet a certain standard.
1937 And then the second part of the situation, that we do have a lot of people in our local community at this moment who are also very interested in getting their product to the market, getting some of their products to be aired. And there has to be a certain quality standard as well, and we will also be helping them along the way.
1938 And thirdly, just also to give you one example, one of the sources actually came from our chairperson, Mr. Bob Lee, who is involved very heavily in the UBC, and UBC has this wonderful place called School of Journalism. I've talked to their people over there, and it's quite amazing how much work they've been doing. It's a two-year master program, and we actually have discussions only - it's not something that we're signing a piece of paper - a discussion that we would like to use some of their talents, or some of their people, and they will do maybe once a month a half an hour documentation that's related to either current affair news or that has to do with whatever that's involved in the school of journalism.
1939 The students there, they will actually produce this program with our assistance, with our training, and they'll be also utilizing our facility, utilizing our personnel and part of their equipment at the School of Journalism, and we're going to air this. But they'll be the one who is supervising, and we'll also be the people who will be assisting them. And this is not just a one-time situation. It will be going on for a duration of a period.
1940 Like I say, if it becomes a successful situation, it may become a regular program that we'd be airing, and the frequency may be increased, or the situation that we will be working with another university, or put all the universities together and maybe make a project of a year.
1941 All of these we've been talking about, and I will turn this over to Phillip right now to talk about the budget allocations. Thank you.
1942 MR. MOY: Commissioner, the training costs are, more or less, broken down into three components. One is, of course, that those costs are embedded within the cost that you see on question 4.2, where you have the breakdown of the various costs for, say, news, long form, information, drama, et cetera, so when you hire someone, an employee, and of course, when you train them, you might be paying them a full-time or part-time salary or wage. Of course, they might be being trained so those costs are built into the various program costs itself.
1943 Part two is that we have set aside in our budget approximately $150,000 per year in direct training and professional development of these various producers. I guess the third part is basically what James has been mentioning, is that indirectly, the shareholders and of course the advisory council members have been contributing personally, and through their other businesses, to the various local universities and colleges in Vancouver, and so therefore indirectly training some of these potential employees of a company like Multivan. So those are the three components I can identify.
1944 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. That's very helpful. So, if we take the second component, is that really the component we are referring to when we're talking about developing the talent and abilities of the producer community? That's on page 16 of the supplementary brief, that, you said was $150,000?
1945 MR. MOY: That's correct.
1946 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: How will that $150,000 be used? Is it equipment? Is it salaries of those who will be training? Is it production money?
1947 MR. MOY: Okay. It would be a variety of items. The equipment, most of the equipment is going to be in-house. That's part of that $13 million capital costs budget that we have mentioned earlier. As James mentioned earlier as well, it's possible that we may purchase additional cameras, to have these students - I'm calling them students - to go out there into the community and to film what they believe is relevant to their own communities, and so those costs would be included. And if they are hired as, say, summer students, and the last time I checked summer students still need to get paid, so therefore, those wages would be included. So I would say they are direct costs of the training, so would include any of the administration costs.
1948 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It's important, again, with distinctions because we were talking about the production community and the availability of a large pool of talent ready to go. I mean, qualified, quality producers, who are ready, willing and able to provide you what you need in your Lifestyles programming and ready, willing and able, sitting on projects they've been dying to produce for years, and some of that with potential.
1949 Then there's training of those who are getting started and I hear you covering all those bases. What I had understood from your brief was training of the producers to pull them from a level of one level to another, and I gather you're taking a broader stroke than that. Have I understood it correctly?
1950 MR. MOY: That's correct. It would be a combination. It could be for the producer who has limited knowledge, still very creative, very talented, but they have a vision to take on being a producer as their career. So they need development, they need motivation, of course, and we would be nurturing these producers, as well as students who are still in university or college. They may not have decided as to whether this should be their career or not, so we want to help them along and develop them as well.
1951 In addition to that, there's one item that I should also add and that is the scholarship.
1952 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I was about to ask. It's over and above the scholarship.
1953 MR. MOY: That's over and above as well. So the scholarship is amounting to $30,000 per year and so we think that that would benefit the community.
1954 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
1955 MR. HO: Let me just make another clarification here. When we talk about equipments, vehicles and camera, everything, it's actually included in our depreciation of the expenses. It's not operating expenses, it's not going to be part of the money that we're going to be included in the money that we're going to be, how shall I put it, you know, the equipment hard cost is in a separate category.
1956 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Right.
1957 MR. HO: So don't treat that as part of this. Further to that, I just want to make absolutely clear, all right --
1958 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes, Mr. Ho.
1959 MR. HO: The $220,000 -- the $200,000 scholarship that we're talking about --
1960 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Two hundred and ten.
1961 MR. HO: -- those are new monies from the station. Those are not monies coming from any of the directors from their own pocket. They have their own separate scholarship that they're going to donate which could be a much larger amount than this one, so it's an entirely separate situation that we're talking about, okay. We're not double-counting here.
1962 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: All right. I understand. I'll leave that to my colleague.
1963 MR. SEGAL: James, if you don't mind, I'll speak for myself. I've been involved for many, many years in this community. You can tell that from the white hair. And I've been involved in the university and, for example -- and I don't believe in bribery. This is my obligation to the community that I have made my money in, the community that I live in, and the community that I intend to stay in. So, for example, my wife has established at Simon Fraser University a fund for special needs students. It doesn't do a lot, but it provides 20 or 30 or $40,000 a year on an ongoing basis. And I have to tell you that that little fund for special needs students makes the difference between being able to graduate, being able to do it as a single parent where you have a handicap, and it's an invaluable kind of a thing. But, James, this is something that your shareholders have been doing for years in this community. I contribute to Simon Fraser University. I chaired the Centre for Dialogue because I believed in the campaign for the Centre for Dialogue, and I still chair the operating entity of it. The reason I do that is because I believe in it. It also attracts, with the privilege of doing this, a substantial personal donation to the university. I have contributed to Simon Fraser University probably in my association with it close to $2 million dollars. Whether we get a license or we don't, doesn't influence that approach. I think this is very, very important. But it's also indicative of having your finger on the pulse of the community. There are so many different needs in this community, and the needs are so diverse because of the diverse nature of the ethnic groups within the community.
1964 So I believe that this item that says scholarships, or whatever you call it, or contribution to the community grants and whatever, I think it's peanuts in terms of what has been taking place.
1965 MR. HO: I just want to make sure that the operation of the business is a viable one, but.
1966 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I believe you have an uppity advisory council.
1967 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I was about to say. I will thank you for your comments, Mr. Segal. I'm sure Commissioner Cardozo will pursue the discussion on advisory board, scholarships and community connections. I want to close the loop on independent production with you and them move on to demand. You won't be surprised at my next comment.
1968 Having gone through the elements of your independent production plans as best we could, what I certainly have retained is a commitment of 4.5 minimum over the license term. And if we understand ourselves, this is for productions with the independent production community where they will retain the rights on programming which has potential and you will support its potential, not only in this community but across the country, that that represents a minimum of 10 hours, 16 percent, or is a component of that 10 hours or 16 percent? Maybe you better clear that up. You jumped when I said that, so I guess I didn't get that right. If you say you're doing 16 percent independent production of your schedule or 10 hours and we've been discussing the 4.5 million, it's easy for me to connect the two, but if that's not the case, perhaps you better clear it up.
1969 MR. HOLTBY: I apologize, commissioner. I'm, frankly, getting confused myself when we talk about is it independent or independent? I think it is 10 hours that we're talking about, and that's over and above all of the Lifestyles -- but those are independent as well. I just want to check that.
1970 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: We're on the same wavelength them. All right. And then the development office and the training program as discussed. Can you comment on the possibility of these commitments regarding the independent sector becoming a condition of license?
1971 MR. HOLTBY: We would accept them as condition of license.
1972 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. And not finished yet quite, but close. I'd like to conclude, as did the Chair yesterday, on the whole issue of demand and the studies you've produced with your proposal and just ask some questions that help us understand better how you use these studies to prepare your program scheduling and your content. By way of introduction, and I'd be referring mostly to the Ipsos Reid study, Mr. Schattenburg; is that correct?
1973 MR. SCHATTENBURG: Yes.
1974 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And, Mr. Meiklejohn, just a little bit on your study, and the others I think will relate more to the revenue and advertising expenses. The highlights of the study, the Ipsos Reid study are clear: there was a strong interest in the proposed concept; you propose it will meet the needs of the viewers, and, in fact, the study highlights the fact that the most attractive element among ethnic viewers is the programming offered in a multitude of languages. And the study says in several places that this is what people are expecting and the advisory board is expecting. The study also notes, in several places, that the overwhelming majority of the viewers watch television in the evening, the ethnic viewers, hence, the proposed station must pay extremely close attention to the evening schedule; that's pages 18 to 20. And on page 21, the station can be confident that it will extract the most viewers during prime time and the late night slot.
1975 Now, I just described the English block programming and I gave you a heads-up on this question earlier. Can you comment they why most of the English, non-ethnic programming is scheduled during this period where most of the viewers are. One would get the impression from the description read for this unique service to your interviewees that what they were expecting in the evening was unique, and that what they were expecting, particularly the younger viewers, was what they were not seeing now on television, and yet, the evening hours are English blocked programming.
1976 Now, I recognize there is a financial issue here, but can you, from the researcher point of view, discuss why, in spite of that, the schedule has turned out the way it is, and from a programming point of view, what your comment is on that. Mr. Ho, you may want to start. I talked to Mr. Ipsos Reid back there, but I'm not sure if you want to --
1977 MR. SCHATTENBERG: Yes, indeed. If I could just preface this, the purpose of our survey, one of the objectives was to understand the viewing habits of the ethnic population, in particular, how they may have differed from the mainstream population, and our findings reveal that the patterns of television viewing are quite similar in the ethnic populations compared to the mainstream population. And again, we were looking at a population between the ages of 18 to 64. As in most surveys of media habits, what we find is that people are engaged at work and school from 9:00 to 5:00, and it's not surprising that the primary television hours are in the evening. That's why it's called prime time. We did uncover that there are other hours of the day when television viewing takes place. This, of course, is going to vary by age and by participation in work and school. I think we fulfilled one of our objectives in placing this question on the survey, and determining that there were not dramatic differences between the ethnic population and the mainstream population in terms of their viewing habits, other than a small blip in terms of what the South Asian population reported.
1978 So just to preface that, I defer to my colleagues in terms of how this is going to influence and impact the concrete programming decisions that will be made.
1979 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: What is your comment on that, gentlemen, in terms of how -- I recognize the model that we talked about from a business point of view, but when you look at that reality and then you look at providing a unique service, and the description read out to the interviewees, how do you respond in terms of the final schedule you proposed?
1980 MR. HO: Well, the final schedule is, you know, in consultation and looking at this whole thing. We also realize the ethnic community wanted to have a prime time hour of their programming. This is why, when we did our scheduling, we scheduled between 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. these prime time hours to have ethnic programming during those time. That's one of the major commitments that we've done, Monday through Sunday, seven days a week.
1981 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: One other question that was interesting too, your study noted that South Asians have a much greater interest that other ethnic populations between watching television between 12:00 and noon. I think that was clearly laid out, and 17 percent of the respondents, South Asian respondents indicated that during a typical week they watched television between noon and 3:00; 27 indicated they watch between 3:00 and 6:00. Yet, the proposed schedule indicates 30 minutes per day from 4:00 to 4:30 for the South Asian community between Monday and Friday, leaving aside, I guess, the news. Do you feel that you're missing an opportunity here to provide South Asian audiences with ethnic language programming during a portion of the day when most are watching, where now there's a big block of English programming?
1982 MR. HO: Commissioner Pennefather, this is the situation where compromises come in. You know, recognizing what we have at this moment of other stations in town that's airing these multicultural programs. It's a balance that we're trying to do. And, again, I wanted to mention what we're trying to do is complementary instead of taking over their airtime. They have been there already and they have been airing their programs even though it's kind of unpredictable where they are, but we realize that's one of the airtime that's prime time to them as well. And if we're going to go in and take that hour away, we're going to just totally destroy these other producers as well, and this is not something that we wanted to do. We already have a prime time hour in the evening, and I think those are the key prime times that we want, we have to target. And we will leave room for other TV stations so that they can have their own producers airing during those hours as well, so that's a complementary type of thing that they can survive and we can survive; balancing.
1983 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. It's important to hear how the programmer reacts to the demand studies because I recognize there are some interesting facts that emerged, and the schedule doesn't necessarily end up being what perhaps people were expecting, but the realities are that you're looking for some kind of balance there.
1984 I'm looking at the studies that make comments on programming, obviously, and expectations, and there's some wording in the Meiklejohn report. What does the term progressive first-run, ethnic programming mean? First-run I can perhaps understand, but was there something else that that term meant, and why progressive?
1985 MR. MEIKLEJOHN: The word "progressive first-run" is a reflection of the participants in the focus groups distinguishing between what they perceived to be perhaps programming of secondary quality. So perhaps another way to describe the word "progressive" would be cutting-edge or new programming.
1986 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Cutting- edge or new?
1987 MR. MEIKLEJOHN: Those are my words, yes.
1988 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And it's your reading that that's what the focus groups were expecting, cutting-edge new programming, that's what one is looking for, over and above what is available, in ethnic programming?
1989 MR. MEIKLEJOHN: With the participants, they seemed to indicate a frustration that programming they've been open to, to date, they perceived it to perhaps be stale or to be non-topical or not relevant to their interests. Of note, in your previous question about mainstream programming, they also saw this as a valuable way to learn about western culture, in a safe way, in their homes.
1990 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: This is what you meant by the term "intercultural catalyst" in another summary point?
1991 MR. MEIKLEJOHN: I believe so, yes.
1992 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I've come to my last question, believe it or not, maybe last and a half. As the Chair said yesterday, this is a very, very fascinating and challenging area and we really appreciate the time that you take to answer and put some meat on the bones, what is scheduling and the magic of television and the difficulty of programming and all of that. I've given perhaps short shrift to the work done on the research side, but we read the highlights, we know what some of the components are. If we look at those demand studies, and particularly the last comment about the cutting-edge shows, looking for something different, can you tell us how you wrap up how you see your proposal really meeting this demand for new cutting-edge approach? Think, too, about what the Chair was saying earlier about a pattern that has news to the Chinese/South Asian community, and yet the Vietnamese has the Lifestyles program, and in that program everything is contained, I would assume: the news, the entertainment, the local stories, how do you see your approach responding to the demand that, both qualitative and quantitative, that has come out of the demand studies? How does this schedule and how does your philosophy really meet that?
1993 MR. HOLTBY: Well, I think I'll perhaps start and I'm sure others will have some comments. I would start my summary by saying that this is, indeed, a challenge. What we're trying to create here is a service that is relevant to a multitude of languages and communities, so it's not without it's challenges, as the Commission is well aware.
1994 I think if we break it down between the different ethnic communities, we've tried to be sensitive to the Chinese and South Asian communities, that there's already material available, and we've tried to be, as James as said, complementary and not be overly aggressive has been a factor. Our Chinese and South Asian programming is not in direct proportion to the size of those communities, but we think it's going to be very relevant. We're going to give them two new hours of news each day, and it will be very relevant and that news will be predominantly local and reflective of their community back to them and their country and their province and internationally.
1995 When we look at the other communities, you're quite correct that there's a limited amount of time, but we will do our best with the advice of our advisory council and the communities themselves and the independent producers that we will be working with to create programs that will be responsive to their communities. And I don't think that the Lifestyle shows, they'll be some similarities between each one but they will be different for each community, I would suspect, because these ethnic communities have different needs and different desires. The German Lifestyles, it could be very substantially different than the Spanish for example. I don't know many German dancers for example, just by way of a .
1996 So I think we've tried to build in a local reflection, a local flavour and texture to our schedule. In addition, we have proposed some acquisition of other Canadian programs we would want to work with, should we get your blessing, with CFMT and CJNT in Montreal and find ways of doing things together. But at the end of the day, the decisions on all of the program schedule, the entire schedule, what we acquire, what we produce, will be made here, locally and they're made here in consultation with our communities and with our advisory council. That's some of the main summary of the schedule.
1997 It is a challenge, it is a very big challenge, but I think in the fullness of time that the ethnic programming, if it's done right and done well, it's going to attract a good audience and the future is very good, indeed.
1998 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Mr. Holtby. That may be my final question but it's not your final answer of the day, I'm sure, so I will turn you over to the Chair and my colleagues. Thank you for your patience with my questions.
1999 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Commissioner Pennefather. Commissioner Cardozo, please.
2000 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair. I will go over sections dealing with localness or local presence - I think localness is probably a better word in your case - community feedback and social issues. And just to let you know, we'd like to break around 12:30, so somewhere around there at a convenient point in this discussion we'll take a break, and if need be, I'll carry on the questioning after and certainly other colleagues will have questions too.
2001 We'll be covering the same subjects I covered yesterday, but I assure you, they'll be different questions, so I hope you didn't rehearse the answers based on the questions I posed yesterday. And certainly when we're dealing with the issue of localness, it's, in a sense, a mirror image of the discussion we had yesterday. And the question I have is, does ownership have to be local? Is good local management not good enough?
2002 MR. HOLTBY: Yes. You didn't ask that question yesterday. I think that local ownership is always better. I'm not saying that conventional television stations that are owned outside of a local community can't do a good job. I'm not suggesting that for a moment. But I think that if you look at the history of broadcasting in this country, a locally owned television station has a better feel of what that market is all about. That's what I sharpened my teeth on; broadcasting with a local television station in Edmonton. And I can assure the Commission that the productions that we got involved and that we build the biggest studio in Western Canada, would not have been built in Edmonton if it was just a subsidiary of another bigger company because Edmonton is not the logical place to be doing major productions, but we lived there and we wanted to do them. We did movies and SCTV, and a musical series, and created quite a dynamic industry there in that market. Plus, we reflected the community to itself through our news.
2003 I think, though, where conventional broadcasters can adequately be owned, I guess, outside by larger groups, and we've seen some changes here in Vancouver, and I think the question of whether or not BCTV and CHEK will retain their position in the minds and hearts of Vancouverites and Victoriates, in that only time will tell whether or not the new owners can do as good a job as the prior owners. But I think ethnic broadcasting is completely different. We used to go down to Los Angeles and buy programs and we would be making decisions for all of Canada and you can do that, I think, to some extent. I think perhaps you're better off -- I mean, obviously if we could segment it, it would even be better, but you can do that with conventional broadcasting. I think ethnic broadcasting is totally different, and as I have got involved in this the last seven months I understand the differences of ethnic communities from Vancouver to Montreal to Toronto are very different; their histories are different. And I don't think you can understand that by making the decisions in a city three time zones away. I just don't think it's possible.
2004 So I think that the added benefit - and I'm going to give you a little pitch here - but the added benefit of this group is that they've been there, they are ethnic, they emigrated or were born here, with the exception of me. And I'm just a wannabe, I guess.
2005 MR. HO: He's a minority.
2006 MR. HOLTBY: We've got a fabulous advisory council, and you'll get to see some of them during the intervention process. And I think when you combine all of those elements, that local ownership and ownership that understands the community and lives here and contributes to it is a far better choice than an owner, no matter how good his intentions are, living three time zones away. It's more difficult. We live here. We will get feedback every day. Our friends are here and our neighbours are here, and we'll get feedback every day. Monica?
2007 MS. DEOL: If I can speak again about what it was like to grow up in Canada and be a visible minority, whether it was in Winnipeg, or it was in Toronto, or it was here, I made a point of tuning in to Indian shows. It mattered to me. Whether I worked on MuchMusic or didn't, I still watched Indian programs because I wanted to connect with my people. I wanted to know where they were in this city, what was going on with them in this city.
2008 I think that if you're talking about generic television -- I love Toronto. I have no problem with Toronto. Toronto was very, very good to me. I have no problem with somebody owning stations across the country. That's fine if you're talking about generic television, if you're talking about Friends, you're talking about Frasier, but I think that when it comes to multiethnic, I think that's personal. I think people take that personally. I think people take it on a very different emotional level than -- you know, you can watch Friends in Houston, or you can watch it in Halifax, or you can watch it here, and you relate to it in more or less the same way. But multiethnic television is the heart and soul of a city. You need to see yourselves in a way that you can connect with, and that all of you can connect with. So I think that, no, you can't just drop a model in that works somewhere else and say that it will work here. Somebody who is Greek may not have -- you know, they may be in Toronto and they may come here and they will have a completely different experience of what it means to be Greek in this city.
2009 As I said as somebody who's Sikh, we talk about it all the time that, you know, people in Toronto are different. Their values are a little bit different. People here, it's a little bit different. They've been here for a long time, the Indians here, a long time. There's a different texture. And I think that to understand it, you have to live here, you have to live the life. And then I look at the owners, and whether it's Joe, you know, who looks like everybody else, but who has a very strong sense of his culture, very strong sense of his heritage, you know, you can't buy that experience. You either live it or you don't. You either get it or you don't. I think that these owners have a different respect for what it means to walk into a room and be visibly different, or culturally different, or to be stereotyped. They've lived it. They know what it means to be all sussed up by just how you look, so they have a natural respect, a natural sensitivity to that, that, again, you cannot buy. I'm done.
2010 MR. SEGAL: Commissioner Cardozo, I'd like to answer your question in a different way because I think it's a very good, relevant question. I have been - I guess I've been in marketing all my life - but I've been associated with companies that are based in Montreal and companies that are based in Toronto, head offices, and we in the West Coast, our regional apparition. And I'll give you an example. In the retail business, when it rains in Vancouver, it's the spring. When it rains in Montreal, it's the fall. And I could never get a buyer to understand that there are regional differences between Montreal and Vancouver. And so we would get raincoats in the fall and Montreal would get raincoats in the fall. So this is a question of being in the region, having your finger on the pulse and understanding your marketplace, and I believe that with all of the components that we bring to the party, most important is an understanding of this marketplace. Thank you.
2011 MS. SANGRA: If I could just add something here just with regards to the importance of local ownership. I think as an independent producer you really need that accessibility and I talked a bit about that in the video. I mean, I believe you need representation that's successful and that's been my experience with Multivan. A Vancouver-based producer has a better chance of getting things produced by a local station than going back east, especially if you're a new emerging filmmaker or emerging talent. It's really important to have local representation.
2012 MR. HO: Commissioner Cardozo, I just wanted to finish this by saying -- well, maybe there will still be other comments. Local ownership, it's just not any type of local ownership. I mean, the group that we have composed here together I believe is a very high quality of local ownership who are credible throughout the history been living in Vancouver, who has an incredible amount of track record that's responsible to this community, and who's relevant and most of all, who is also accountable.
2013 We are putting in front of you a license -- or application. We started immediately with a minimum amount of 60 percent Canadian content. This is simply just the way we are. We believe that we can do it and we'll try our best to do it. And amongst all the owners who've already talked about this whole thing many times about the financial side of things, being responsible and accountable, and we have to face the community day in and day out. I mean, take a look at some of the -- I'm still young, but they've been through a lot. Again, Mr. Segal, I cannot speak for him, but he has been through seven downturns, seven economic downturns. Bob has been through five economic downturns. We're still around. Why? Because they're good business people and they're accountable.
2014 MR. LEE: You've got more hair on the heads than I do.
2015 MR. HO: Having said all of that, it's also with respect to this community that we know what's happening. Thank you.
2016 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me put to you a different scenario. Take the four of you at the front table, or all of you, and supposing another broadcaster from Toronto or Montreal, from somewhere east was to own the application, the station that you'd be applying for, and employed all of you to be the people on the ground here. Now, some of you are too rich to ever be owned by somebody else, I accept that, but, if you take that out -- take the competence of the team that you're putting forward, couldn't you do just as good a job as if you were owning it?
2017 MS. DEOL: Can I just -- first of all, I am not a hired gun. The only people who hire me --
2018 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: No, but you could be a volunteer just as well.
2019 MS. DEOL: I'm just saying that I'm not a hired gun. The only people who, you know, own me are my kids. So when they phoned me and asked me to be a part of this, like, I'm not looking for more work. I've got a child who's five, four and two. I have enough to do. And I said to them, you know, "I don't have time to do this," and then I said, "Okay, in all fairness, let me have a look at what you're proposing." And the first thing I said to James and Joe was, "You guys don't need me. You're in the loop. You don't need an advisory council to tell you about multi-ethnic in this city because you're insiders. You're not outsiders. You're living it. What do you need a council for?" So that was my attitude first.
2020 I joined this, took this on, because I really believe that there is a difference, and it is not generic television, and that these people understand what multi-ethnic television means in a different way. Again, I say you can't buy that and you can't ask people, you know, there's the approach that you come in and you hire people, but these people have lived it. They understand it in a different way. I can't emphasis enough to you how important that is. There is a different sensitivity. There is a different understanding of what the make-up is here. They don't need to come in and hire people to tell them that. It's an important distinction.
2021 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: No, I understand that, but my point is you could have a broadcaster from the east hire and recruit volunteers who have all that sensitivity, all that understanding, all that background, all that experience, just as you do. And that team, could do just as well, could they not?
2022 MR. HO: Well, in theory, in theory, Commissioner Cardozo, maybe what you're saying here, in theory, it could be correct, however, we're not dealing -- we're here, we're dealing with human beings. Everybody has different characters, sensitivity, et cetera. I must say yes to your answer partially and no to the majority part of it is because of lack of sincerity.
2023 The reason why I say that, and since this is already in the open, I have to say that - all the directors, all the partners knows about this - that, yes, I have personally met with CFMT beforehand. What they had proposed to us, or to me, beforehand, was why don't you just take the Chinese hour and just produce the Chinese hour for us and forget about everything else. We'll pay you a reasonable amount of money for you to do it. I say, no, because we're really interested in the license here, you know, we would like to work. The next time when we meet, of course, is again the emphasis of this proposal and plus an investment of them into my radio station. Again, that's not a viable situation for us to go.
2024 I understand what you're talking about. I mean, in this application there's only two applicants, but we have to look at the sincerity. It's not a breakdown of business view, but sincerity-wise, whether we can work with them or whether we cannot work with them. We have tried.
2025 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: All of these issues of ownership end up being somewhat subjective, and I don't want to say I disagree with what you said. The Act doesn't tell us to favour local ownership over non-local ownership. There are certain indications that there should be good reflection, involvement, et cetera, of local understanding, programming and that kind of stuff. So what I'm trying to do in this part of the discussion is get from you as much as possible, guidance, about how you think we should be dealing with the issue of local ownership.
2026 I have one more question in terms of what people have said. Ms. Deol, you said you don't only want a model from somewhere else, but, with respect, the model that you put forward is a whole lot like the CFMT model from Toronto. It's eight percent different. It's, some might say it's a tried and true model, some might say it's imported from Toronto, or some might say it's minimalist as some of the interventions will suggest with the 40 percent, or in your case 31, 32 percent English, you will be losing a certain amount of ethnic programming. So the model you're dealing with is, to a large extent, the Toronto model; is it not?
2027 MR. HOLTBY: To a large extent, Commissioner. Actually, I like to call it the Commission's model, the 60/40 model, but there's a lot of similarities to what we have proposed with CFMT. But, as I said earlier, Commissioner, we have promised to, and we will try to do more. Whether or not we're successful, only time and experience is going to tell us. We will try, and we give you our commitment, and give our commitment to the city and the citizens of Vancouver. I think ethnic television can be done better. With all due respect, I think the only way it can be done better is if you get some new blood. You know what you're going to get if you licensed our competition. And they do a nice job, and whether or not they can be as sensitive to Vancouver's ethic communities as I think they are in Toronto, only time will tell. I don't think they can do as good a job as people that live and breathe and work here, but maybe they can. I don't know. But I would suggest to the Commission that this is an opportunity with some new people. We've got financial strength. You don't have to worry about a financial problem. The shareholders are committed to this and putting in their own money to make this license work. You've got experience, you've got the passion. And I think, give us a chance and I think we'll surprise you; we're going to do it better than it's been done in the past.
2028 MS. DEOL: And I think it would be good for the viewer ship to be part of that success. You know, there is that too. There's that pride in your city; pride, that yes, local people have stepped up to bat and are ready to do this, you know, and take that ball home.
2029 MR. SEGAL: I'm not sure that I didn't misunderstand the question, so I'm going to ask you again whether my understanding of the question is correct or not. What you said, Commissioner Cardozo, is why can this television station not be run with ownership in Toronto and with good local management. Was that the question?
2030 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Not quite. If somebody else, and I'm not even suggesting your competitor, but some other company from the east, hired this whole team, theoretically, could they not do as good a job as you feel you can do?
2031 MR. SEGAL: Let me respond to that in my way and from my experience.
2032 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So long as we're dealing with the same question.
2033 MR. SEGAL: I believe that if you are to run a successful company, you are dependent on the people that you choose and the responsibility that you delegate and the monitoring that you provide. By the same token, they do report to head office and the major decisions are made in head office. And if you have six branches, if you have one branch that isn't so great, you start to cut budgets. Instead of addressing the problem, you address the symptoms. And so you can't run, particularly this kind of requirement, you cannot run by remote control. You've got to understand the marketplace. That's the same old story about raincoats at the wrong time of the year, or boots when it rains or snows. We sell boots in Vancouver when it snows in Montreal.
2034 So I believe that there is a significant difference between running a station of this nature. If it wasn't ethnic, there's lots of synergy, but because it is ethnic, the local understanding of the marketplace is so significant, and so the decisions will be made locally. And it isn't a question of getting on the phone; it's a question of walking across the hall to arrive at a decision that is made today because it's important today, rather than a week from today.
2035 MR. MEIKLEJOHN: Commissioner, if I may, please. We explored this in our focus group and the participants felt that local ownership was very important, in that when they arrived and as they've developed and integrated in the community, local people have nurtured them and helped them, and they were very, very, intense, if you will, on this particular topic.
2036 MR. LEE: Commissioner, to be successful you have to have the right partners, and I've been dealing with my partners here for 20, 30, 40 years, and we have a rapport of how we resolve problems and so on. So I think if someone came to me, I would want to make sure that I had the right partners. I think that's very, very important in running a successful business.
2037 MR. KANE: Commissioner Cardozo, I wonder if I would just add to this in the context of your comment on the Broadcasting Act and I certainly agree with you that the Broadcasting Act is not explicit in terms of local ownership, but there are some guidelines in the Broadcasting Act that have been fleshed out by the Commission in its ethnic policy which, in my submission, leads you very strongly towards local ownership. I'll come back to that in a moment.
2038 In an answer to your question about an eastern company coming and purchasing a company in Vancouver, there's an intriguing example of an eastern company coming to Vancouver and purchasing the cable television company, and the Commission will be well aware that in 1980, Roger's came to the west and purchased Premier, which included the Vancouver cable system. And we have an intriguing analogy, because in the hearing which the Commission conducted to approve the transaction, there were strong concerns expressed by interveners with respect to the fact that there would now be potential domination of the cable industry in British Columbia by interests located in central Canada. And the Commission addressed it by pointing out that the Commission does encourage local ownership in the right circumstances, but made a decision to approve the transaction. And listen to the circumstances that existed at that time. The Commission noted the fact that there was decentralised management in the Rogers system in Ontario and Alberta and recognized that that had been working so we could have decentralised management here. That satisfies one of the factors that was present.
2039 It also pointed out that there were local boards of advisors, just as you might have here. You could have a local board of advisors as well. But, in addition to all of that, there was minority interest in Rogers from the west, and over and above - and thus us really quite remarkable - over and above that, there was a commitment made that the directors of Rogers would be proportional to the number of cable subscribers from the west, and that's over and above the level of shareholding in the company. And this resulted in 40 percent of the directors of Rogers coming from Western Canada.
2040 I think that's an extremely interesting example, and that's with a cable television system that doesn't have control over what is carried on the system, and that is simply, as you know, a distribution situation. I would suggest to the Commission, as you've indicated, Commissioner Cardozo, the Broadcasting Act is general, and it should be, because it's a framework. But, as you know, in the object section of the Broadcasting Act in Section 6 of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission can flesh out the Act through the pronouncement, which it does, in policy statements. And I would submit that the ethnic policy statement -- policy rather, speaks overwhelmingly in terms of serving and reflecting a local community, which in my submission leads you naturally to local ownership. Now, is it definitive? Absolutely not because neither the Broadcasting Act, nor the policy, should lead you to a specific answer; it should guide you to that answer. But in my submission, the Act and the policy, guides you very clearly towards local ownership.
2041 MR. SCHATTENBERG: Commissioner, if I could also point out, we asked our respondents in our survey directly, whether they felt it was important that the proposed multicultural television station should be run by a local Vancouver company, rather than a corporation from Toronto, and 79 percent of our ethnic population said that they felt it was important that the station be run by local people and 83 percent of the mainstream population. So, really, the population, both mainstream and ethnic, agreed that they feel it's very important that local people should be in charge of the multicultural station here.
2042 MS. DEOL: I just had one more thought, that I think it makes a strong statement, not just that it's local ownership, but that it's multi-ethnic ownership, that we have come full circle. We're not asking for your airtime, we now own the station. I think that's a very strong statement.
2043 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I hear you and maybe I can turn to Mr. Kane again on that point in terms of ownership. Is it your sense that the Act or the policies guide us in terms of ethnic ownership with regards to -- or multi-ethnic ownership in terms of a station such as what's applied for here?
2044 MR. KANE: Absolutely, Commissioner Cardozo. As I say, you start from Section 6 in the Broadcasting Act. You can also look at Section 3 in terms of the broadcasting policy, and there are some general guidelines that lead you towards a direction which, as the Commission stated in the Rogers/Premier decision encourages local ownership in the appropriate circumstances. But then when you look at what the Commission has done in terms of its ethnic policy, perhaps to cite for the record a couple of paragraphs that I would note would be paragraph 40, "The Commission is of the view that a primary responsibility of over-the-air, ethnic radio and television stations should be to serve and reflect their local community." And it is my submission that the best way to serve and reflect a local community is through local ownership.
2045 There's another interesting comment in paragraph 46, and this is in the context of a discussion on network, and whether networks should be permitted with respect to ethnic radio and television. The Commission quoted groups that supported a national network, and then it quoted those who opposed it. And the description of those who opposed it is interesting and, in my submission, very relevant to the discussion over the last few days. Those opposing were of the view that the ethnic composition of cities in Canada is so diverse that it is difficult to conceive of a national schedule that would be relevant across the country. In their view, the national network concept would have the potential to displace, or at least fail to support locally relevant content. I know the Commission has had that discussion and I suspect we'll have more of it with our group. The Commission then went on to say that any applicant for a national ethnic television network should clearly identify how the proposed network would satisfy the needs of a range of ethnic groups in the local markets to be incorporated in the proposal. And, in my submission, it always comes back to local.
2046 And the one last thought I would make with respect to network, Commissioner Cardozo, is that the Commission will know a network can be composed of two stations. That's all it takes in terms of the definition of a network. And, in my submission, in summary, the Act and the policy lead us inevitably towards a preference. If you have a choice, it's my submission, that the Act and the policy lead you to a preference for local ownership.
2047 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It's a very helpful discussion. Everybody has participated in it. Obviously, you feel very strongly, clearly, about what you're saying, but I hope you understand that from our perspective it isn't that crystal clear. As you say, it may guide us, in your view, in one conclusion. I think one could argue that it could guide us to the other conclusion.
2048 The other important issue is a good application. If you've got a terrible application, we couldn't say local overrides everything else, right?
2049 Let me ask you about CHMV and your radio station, what you felt that has helped you, or what lessons do you have from that that apply, from running a radio station that would apply to a television station?
2050 MR. HO: One of the key things that we learned from running the radio stations, the difficulties of covering all communities. You know, there's so much things that one wants to do, one has to do, really, in order to cultivate the community and try to make sure that the community understands that this is Canada, that we integrate these people into the Canadian system, having to deal with all those different languages. We also have to assess as to which language is the main part of the language that will generate a reasonable amount of economic return so that we can fund the rest. It is very different from a conventional radio station, meaning whether it's AM or FM. They have a very low operating cost, as compared to our type of radio station because if you want to meet up with the standard, we have to spend a certain amount of money that is going to have a quality type of program. That's without question. But it's not overspending. We have to be very careful also what we spend. That's on the economic side.
2051 Then on the culturally sensitivity, as far as, and further to, how the groups and which story are we going to be selecting, it's a vast amount of research consulting that we have to do amongst the different ethnic groups of people. You can't just sit in the office and read a piece of paper that is national, that applies to all the AM or FM stations and says this is the format that works, or that format that works. It doesn't work in an ethnic radio station at all. You actually have to go through the experiment of different categories that you have to do. A lot of times we fail. But it's just that one or two times that we're successful. That's going to bring, not only joy and satisfaction, but also a certain part of economic success as well. And it's a lot more difficult to operate, as I'm saying, than the ordinary conventional radio because there's so many different issues that we have to deal with.
2052 And lastly, I'm a Chinese, first generation. Obviously, I know the Chinese community very well. We also have to run twelve different languages, including Chinese. In other words, aside from Mandarin or Cantonese, we have to know 10 other communities. We have to make sure that these 10 communities are satisfied. We quite often do not know what our producer has been airing. And quite often what we found out about what the producer is airing, that is, having some sort of impact, whether it's positive or negative, whatever, usually comes late, and we don't want that to happen with our television. We're also making steps to improve that in our radio station because you have to have people who are keeping you informed, who understand the culture, who understand the language that let you know what's happening in your radio program, in the case of what's happening in your television program. Be responsible and be accountable because, after all, I'm the license holder of CHMV and if my producer does anything wrong, I'll be responsible. We cannot let the producer just, over the year say, I resign today, I appoint somebody else. There has to be a procedure, proper process.
2053 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: How many languages do you have on your radio station?
2054 MR. HO: Right now we have 13 languages, in addition -- our minimum requirement is 12. We have 13, plus aboriginal - the only aboriginal in town at this moment, two hours a week.
2055 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. And it's a 100 percent ethnic languages, is it?
2056 MR. HO: Yes, 100 percent ethnic language, yes.
2057 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And the reason you wouldn't look at 100 percent for television is because the costs are much higher on television?
2058 MR. HO: Well, two areas. Costs, it's a lot higher than radio and radio is a lot more difficult to sell than television. Television somehow is easier, if, provided you have the conventional type of program. One of the difficult areas that we are also facing in our radio station is, we don't have ratings. BBM doesn't rate us. The only thing that we can do is to show the result, what kind of result we have. And the result has been tremendous because, really, I think a lot of people are missing in this multicultural ethnic programming. They only put their heart into the English program because that's where the money is. But there's a whole virgin land in the multicultural side of things, but you need a certain amount of economic success in order to mature and cultivate the multicultural side of the business.
2059 In our situation, when I talk about no rating, it's really a difficult situation. All these rules are from CRTC, a lot of them that we have to comply, with a few exceptions. It takes a lot of effort that we have to do, and it's out of respect that we're doing it as well because this is what the CRTC requires and that's what we will do.
2060 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Not because it makes good sense? Isn't that why we do things here?
2061 MR HO: I'm sure you've also done a lot of these studies as well that make sense. But one of the difficult things, like I said, we have to show results, and that's what we're doing. There has to be a result.
2062 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Just two or three more quick questions before we break for lunch. You said, Mr. Ho, earlier that you would be helping newer producers, or the ethnic producers certainly, or the independent producers especially with the Lifestyle programming, but as I look at your team, you have experience in ethnic broadcasting and radio and, Mr. Holtby, you have experience in television broadcasting, but neither of you, or nobody else in your group, has experience in multilingual television broadcasting. How do you make up for that?
2063 MR. HO: That's what we call diversity of experience here. That really counts. As I'm saying before, the business sense, the common sense, the passion, you know, all of these will count, not just one segment of it, but a general segment of the whole thing here.
2064 Mr. Segal will tell us, like, what's happening in the retail sales and all these different things. Bob, our chairperson, who is very in tune with the real estate side of things, and by the way, nobody knows he owns one of the largest auto dealerships in town too. I mean, if you drive a Honda, you probably bought a car from him - the top sales in North America.
2065 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I think I did.
2066 MR. LAU: Commissioner Cardozo, I'm Geoffrey Lau. You'll probably wonder why I'm here. I'm one of the shareholders of the group and I'm very excited about these projects. Actually, I'm in the real estate and financial business, but my wife has been taking a very intensive interest in the community. She's an opera performance; she has done a lot of community work. As a result, she was invited to be -- she served on the board of Fairchild TV for nine years, and she had a lot of meetings, and she talked to a lot of audiences. She's very familiar with the program, she's very familiar with what the community want, so she tell me to be here.
2067 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It's an interesting management structure.
2068 MR. HO: To conclude this whole thing here, yes, they may not see a whole lot of type of, these types of television person, television experience or whatever, but I believe with the guidance from the board, their business and common sense, their passion, plus the complementary type of experience between Doug and myself, I believe that we have a --
2069 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Who are the principles that are going to run the show?
2070 MR. HO: Pardon me?
2071 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Who are the principle people, your senior staff who will run the station?
2072 MR. HO: We're going to hire the best people in town that's going to be running this 24 hours a day for us. I mean, all of us have --
2073 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Among you, between Mr. Ho and Mr. Holtby, you're going to be the Chairman?
2074 MR. LEE: Well, I'll tell you, we're going to rely on these two to tell us, and our hired general manager as to what to do, because they're the experts. But I think the three of us, the other three shareholders have lots of experience in business, and I treat this like any other businesses that I've run, or acquired, or ran. Like James said earlier, I've been through five recessions and my two, Geoffrey Lau and Joe's been seven, I'm sure Jeffery's been four.
2075 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: We've got 15 recessions between you.
2076 MR. LEE: So the ups and downs, we survived. So I think with that experience, and plus their experience in the business, I think we have a very good chance.
2077 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, just on that, I observe that the shareholders, I guess two of you have a lot of experience in broadcasting, but the other three - I don't want to say money guys - but is the reason that the five of you are together is because you've got access to potential advertisers, business, whatever, to make this thing fly because some would argue that a stand-alone multicultural station is a pretty hard thing to run when -- well, stand-alone to the extent there will be a radio station as well, so there'll be synergies to that extent only?
2078 MR. SEGAL: Commissioner Cardozo, I have, in my experience, acquired many companies that I technically had no knowledge in terms of how to operate it, from the woodworking business to producing steel shelving and whatever, and I'm a firm believer that there is a complement of personnel out there, and I would only entertain the best, even if they have to come from Rogers. So, I believe --
2079 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I see the makings of a very interesting partnership happening here.
2080 MR. SEGAL: There is a pool of talent out there, and half of the business is technical and the other half of the business is common sense and business experience and financial responsibility, so I don't think that's going to be a problem.
2081 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Well, those cover my questions for now in terms of the localness and the local management aspect. After lunch we'll cover the advisory board and other issues relating to the community feedback and social issues.
2082 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We will now break for lunch. The beepers and telephones of people must be turned off and, please, if you see those who don't turn them off, you can be my police. We'll be back in an hour, 10 to 2:00.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1245 / Suspension à 1245
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1350 / Reprise à 1350
2083 MR. HO: In making TV, you have to have a little bit of everything, but the main part, as I wanted to point out in our TV, programming is at heart -- of course, amongst the programming, I think news is the heart of the programming. In here, we have paid great attention in bringing the news items. And the news items we will be covering in these segments here, two hours in the morning, two hours in the evening prime time, will be top-notch type of, very time-sensitive information. We're not going to be, you know, dance and song and these types of cultures. We'll have rooms in other parts of the programming that's going to be broadcasted out, but the news is definitely the news. You know, it will have to be very sensitive as to the timing, how fast that we want to react to a certain situation. There are a lot of situations the reaction will be very fast. We have all these mobile newsgathering automobiles that we're going to be using, and one of the things that we are committing to such a great extent, being news gathering mobiles and microwave gathering, microwave transmission mobiles that we'll use in this whole situation is that we want to be making sure that whatever's happening in the city of the Vancouver, especially in the ethnic communities, we want to be there first, we want to broadcast to our audiences first, we want to have the latest information. You know, it is important for the ethnic community to know it's not dance and music. Those are not news items per se.
2084 MS. DEOL: Also, I think, you know, that all of us are very aware of the fact that we're not just stereotypical song and dance people. There's a lot more to us. I think the people on the advisory board and the owners, when it comes to stereotyping, we have been stereotyped and to fight against that it's sort of built into us, it's part of our make-up. So I think that all of us would make that a sort of vested interest, that we have more on the air about our people, whoever that is, than, you know, yes, the arts and the cultural part and that way matters, and the news matters. But then there's the human interest. Then there's the things that we all talk about over dinner amongst our friends, amongst our families, amongst our co-workers, and those things may not be talked about on mainstream television. I think within the context of that news hour there is room for issues like intercultural marriage, arranged marriages, you know, how much is too much when it comes to meshing the cultures; at what point are you a sell-out; at what point are you a coconut in our culture. And I think these are all things, you know, and that's just a bit, that's just a surface. There are a lot of issues that we all discuss in our every day lives that I think are common, that everybody would have an interest in hearing about it and talking about it, and, you know, definitely there is a lot more to multi-ethnic television than just news stories that focus on multi-ethnic people and, you know, singing and dancing.
2085 MR. SEGAL: Commissioner Cardozo, I don't believe that the purpose of the video was to give you an example of the type of broadcast. I think it was primarily, and I can tell you frankly, I only saw it once, and it brought tears to my eyes, to be able to see that there is such a diverse cultural ethnic group in this city. And there were many of the smaller ethnic groups that were represented in that video and I didn't realize that they were so vibrant. And that was the purpose of the video - not to show you want is going to be broadcast on the news, but to show you how diverse this community is.
2086 MR. HOLTBY: Commissioner Cardozo, in closing, I'd just like to say that - and I won't go through how we would develop these shows, I went through that quite extensively with Commissioner Pennefather - but the one thing we know for sure is that there will be shows that we think on paper they look great and they're the right thing to do, but in reality it doesn't work. That just happens. The creative process, that's what it's all about. There's no formula; I've never yet seen one. But we will live or die on our ability to attract an audience. It's got to be excellent; it's got to be reflective and relevant to our viewers and excite them - excite them, make them sad, bring out emotions. I mean, it's got to be a challenge. But I think with the resources that I've seen in our community with Baljit and others - we've identified 25 - that we will produce quality programs that are going to attract an audience. And I think in the fullness of time, the ethnic part of the schedule will continue to grow. I hope that when we come back for renewal that we'll be telling you that we want to do more ethnic, or we are, in fact, we are doing more than what we said in the application.
2087 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks for that. It's helpful to get a sense of how what you see -- what you would put on the screen would reflect the local community. And, Ms. Sangra, I hope you won't take my criticisms too hard, for two reasons. One is I don't live here so I won't be watching. But, second, it's clear that your work produces a lot of discussion, as it has here, and that is certainly the object of good film and good TV, or one of the objects.
2088 What are the means of feedback for the advisory committee? How will you get feedback beyond the networks that each one of you have? Would you be looking at town hall meetings, or websites, or anything like that?
2089 MS. DEOL: All of the above. We'll be doing town hall meetings. We'll be doing websites. We'd be probably going through viewer mail, you know, sort of, as a regular thing. Yeah, we are -- we are out there.
2090 MR. HO: Can I take this opportunity to talk to you about the website?
2091 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Sure.
2092 MR. HO: One of the key things, our station, AM13, CHMV, is the first pioneer, as a matter of fact, in the website development in the multicultural radio station in Canada. As soon as we announced -- you know, it takes a lot of resources, a lot of air, a lot of manpower and a lot of talent to develop the site, and one of the first things that we have noticed, as soon as we have developed the site and people knew about us, we get a lot, a lot of information that's coming over from our audiences. One of the key things that we also found out is that radio stations no longer -- or electronic media is no longer just simply this electronic media. It's no longer people picking up the phone and call and want their opinion to be heard. In electronic, especially these inter-reactions media, we have programs right now in our radio station actually, for two hours in the afternoon every day, and that's from 3:00 to 5:00, and then late evening, past midnight actually, on Friday and Saturday we have also another two programs that's also Internet based inter-reaction. We found out that there's a lot of inter-reactions that's coming from the community. The phone line, when it's busy, you can get through. It's different from Internet. When they send opinion, you see it. And not only that, a whole bunch of other people see it too. And not only that, it's not limited to our region. All over the world they are seeing it. And we have people just keep on communicating with us, and some of these people they may be in Hong Kong, and they cannot have their voice aired, or talk about it over the air, and we get immediate response from them.
2093 I believe the situation is the same with our improvement, or the programming ideas, or the town hall meetings, et cetera. I mean, we could have virtual town hall meetings by just having everybody go on-line, we can talk about this whole thing, I mean, if the time requires. I mean, there's a lot of ideas that's being developed at this moment.
2094 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Would this be the mechanism for complaints as well?
2095 MR. HO: This will be part of the mechanism because the complaints, sometimes the really big complaints comes. I'm sure the CRTC will receive a letter as well, whether it's through fax, or through mail, phone calls, emails, we have people coming to our radio station at times and telling us that certain programs they like, certain programs we should include, et cetera; all in a very positive, constructive way.
2096 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I'd like to turn to scholarships which Mr. Segal and I would term as peanuts. This is not just my view imposed on you, I'm just absorbing from your group. This is 210 over seven years, or per year for seven years?
2097 MR. HO: That's per seven for per seven years. Not each year. Seven years.
2098 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Over seven years?
2099 MR. HO: Over seven years.
2100 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You had mentioned something about other scholarships. Those are just individual scholarships that other directors have set up on their own; is that so, or were you suggesting there might be more?
2101 MR. LEE: We're doing it every day.
2102 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, on your own, that's fine. But what I just want to get a handle on is, is, is as far as MultiVan is concerned, it's the 210 over seven years?
2103 MR. HO: In all the things that we do, we've been very conservative and that's the minimum amount that we will do. We'll do more as time goes along. And over the years we have always committed more - I'm talking about my own ethnic station here - I've always over-committed, not under-committed, everything that we have done up to this moment -- over delivered, I'm sorry.
2104 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Tell me a couple of quick things about it. How will it be publicized and how will recipients be assessed? And I understand that the purpose is for students who will be studying broadcasting; is that correct?
2105 MR. HO: Yes. It's geared towards the broadcasting students that are in the studying field, and generally - perhaps we have a different or more advanced method - but how we have done it in our multicultural radio station and stuff, we have always taken the advice from the university, that department, where there's been the professor or the director, they have their own committee as to who they qualify should get the scholarship, and we will provide these scholarships to the department and then they'll let us know who has been rewarded these scholarships.
2106 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Oh, so the individual departments will provide the scholarships as opposed to you doing it directly to the students?
2107 MR. HO: Well, and then, of course, the students will know. Quite often, like I say, they will have knowledge of it.
2108 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay, yes. And when you say studying broadcasting, is that how to do broadcasting or, you know, different roles in broadcasting, or is it more broadcasting policy?
2109 MR. HO: It covers everything: communication, journalism, acting, you know, everything that has to do with -- appropriate that has to do with the electronic. You know, it's going to be a field that I believe if there's a talent that's out there that's related to this field, we will be looking at it. We'll be hearing the advice from the institution.
2110 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. On cultural diversity, you mention in page 12 of your oral presentation -- I had it marked in my copy and I can't find it. Okay. "We have made programming commitments which exceed the ethnic policy and have undertaken to ensure that even the English programming aired contributes to the overall diversity MultiVan will offer to all viewers in the Lower Mainland." Could you just give us more of a sense of what that is, what you mean by that in terms of the English programming?
2111 MR. HOLTBY: What we were referring to specifically there, Commissioner, was, to the extent possible, we would want the schedule, the foreign -- I'm talking about the foreign American product, to just be sensitive to - and I discussed that with Commissioner Pennefather, and I used the show Degrassi, but there was the Cosby Show, and there's others - to the extent possible, we have to recognize what we are, and what we are is an ethnic television station, and we would like to reflect that in all, whether it's American, Canadian or acquired or produced locally.
2112 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Is that something you may do, or is that a commitment that you're willing to make that we could put in here?
2113 MR. HOLTBY: It is a commitment that we will do our best. I mean, it's obviously --
2114 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I think that when we talk about reflecting diversity, we're not saying that every single program has to reflect diversity, but certainly overall the programming - and in this case we're talking about English - would, in some way, (a) not be offensive, but (b) be inclusive of --
2115 MR. HOLTBY: Well, there's no question that there would never be anything that was offensive. We just wouldn't have it on the station, or stereotyping shows. It just wouldn't happen. But it's a commitment that we would do our best and it's a commitment that we've given to the advisory council and we give to the Commission, and we would expect to be able to review that with the Commission and with our advisory council that we will do our best. In fact, there could be instances where we need to seek their advice of which show they think is more appropriate for particular time periods, and we would undertake to do that.
2116 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay, so just to be clear, you're willing to, for there to be a commitment - I'm just asking hypothetically - you're willing to have a commitment in your license that you would ensure that your English language foreign programming would reflect diversity -- cultural and racial diversity, something along those lines?
2117 MR. HOLTBY: Yes, yes, absolutely. I mean, we're sensitive to what our responsibilities are and we undertake to, in every day part, to do our absolute best. And, certainly, we would never have anything that was a negative portrayal. It just wouldn't happen.
2118 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You're aware of the CAB task force on cultural diversity. Are you prepared to be part of that and contribute towards that?
2119 MR. HOLTBY: Yes, we would.
2120 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. On closed captioning, let me ask you a couple of fairly detailed questions. You'll be aware that we have been requiring licenses to commit to providing captioning to 100 percent of English news, including live segments, and 90 percent of English programming by condition of license. Is that something you could abide by as a condition of license?
2121 MR. HOLTBY: We would agree with that, commissioner.
2122 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Tell me about the subtitling, or the closed-captioning in other languages. You had made a commitment about Chinese character subtitling with respect to closed captioning. What is your sense of where technology is in terms of especially the non-Roman numeral?
2123 MR. HO: At this moment, the Asian languages as probably being the most advance ones, I would say the Japanese, Korean and Chinese being the easiest one to do at this moment because, you know, naturally, they are, if you take a look at the country, these are the countries which also have quite a bit of electronic advancement. They've been putting heavy emphasis in this area. As towards languages other than the ones I've mentioned, I think there's a few - well, I wouldn't even say a few, they are still in the development stage at this moment, and it's a matter of availability in how advanced the technology has been - but at this moment, aside from the one I have said, I have not encountered anything that is more, how shall I put it, that has been --
2124 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Advanced?
2125 MR. HO: Is advanced enough for us to do.
2126 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: What about other languages like Russian, Greek, Arabic, Urdu?
2127 MR. HO: Urdu, definitely not in that category as yet. Russian, if you notice, we have not programmed a program that is in our program, but if there is technology that is available, we certainly will be looking at to do, such as, like I say, the Korean and Japanese probably will be the next one to add on in addition to the Chinese language. So the advancement, the technology advancement is there. We are just going to keep on adding to it because our technology here will be the latest technology equipment that we'll be buying, so we'll be accommodating that.
2128 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So in terms of third languages then, the only ones you're willing to make a -- or what kind of commitment could you make in terms of third languages?
2129 MR. HO: The third language right now in our application, we're making a commitment for the closed-captioned language in Chinese. At this moment we have 3.5 to 6.3 hours per week for Chinese at this moment, and I would do a minimum of 3.5 and increase it from there, and I would say we'll do a minimum of one third language in, you know, we will increase it as we go along because it is, in my dealing with the languages, like the other ones, we believe it is fairly simple for us to do and it is not going to be a humongous task for us, so we can start with that and we will increase it as we go along. It is for the best interest of our audiences anyway. We like to have more audiences.
2130 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. And I assume that when you come across programming that does have closed-captioning in other languages, you'd be prepared to run that as well?
2131 MR. HO: That's for the benefit of everyone, yes, we definitely will.
2132 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In terms of described video, what commitments are you willing to make in terms of described video? I understand you've undertaken a number of locally produced TV specials with described video that will be included in the production.
2133 MR. HO: I don't quite understand the question.
2134 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In terms of described video, which is providing audio description for television programming for the visually impaired, what commitments are you willing to make?
2135 MR. HO: There's one thing --
2136 MR. MOY: Maybe if I can join in, Commissioner, in our deficiency letter, you will notice at page 9 of that letter where we had said that we would be technically capable of delivering described programming via the SAP signal, of course, so we -- obviously, we understand that this is a very important service to the community, so we will follow all the developments.
2137 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And will that be for English and for third language programming?
2138 MR. MOY: For the English, for the acquired English that is?
2139 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes.
2140 MR. MOY: I think for the acquired English it will come down to subject to availability of course. And on the English ethnic language that we're producing ourselves, I would say that that would not be a problem, and on the third language, that usually is more of a challenge, but we will do our best to provide that as well.
2141 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In terms of gender portrayal and the violence codes, do you plan to be a member of the CBSA, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council?
2142 MR. HO: Yes.
2143 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And you would abide by those?
2144 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And with regard to employment equity, currently your radio station has less than a hundred employees, I would think?
2145 MR. HO: Yes. We have about 35 full-time and 50 part-time for one small radio station.
2146 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So you file your employment equity reports with us at the Commission. If you were to have a television station, you would then likely have more than a hundred, and you would report to Human Resources Development Canada and be monitored by the Human Rights Commission?
2147 MR. HO: Yes.
2148 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Well, those are my questions. Thanks very much. Thanks for you help.
2149 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Commissioner Cardozo. Commissioner Wilson, please?
2150 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Good afternoon. I'm the last one. I do the clean-up as well, so you're on the home stretch. I'm going to begin by asking you a few questions about your financial statement, and I want to look at the studies that you had done at the programming model, your sources of advertising, synergies with -- the financial and operational synergies with CHMV, and I'll probably have a few other questions just to wrap up, as well as some technical questions, so just so you sort of know where we're going with discussion.
2151 I did want to say that I've been listening with a lot of interest to your conversations with my colleagues, and there's quite a passionate discussion about the role of passion in your application, and I guess what I wanted to say was that having come out of the broadcasting industry myself, that passion is what gives life to the programming, but money is what makes the programming go to air. And so I'm going to start probing the financial assumptions to see because it's great to have a vision, but you want to share that vision with a lot of people, and whether or not the shareholders are accustomed to doing good work and giving back to the community, from what I can tell, this is not a not-for-profit corporation. I think all of you are fairly shrewd businesspeople and probably are looking at making some money out of this, so that's what I want to take a look at with you during the next few minutes.
2152 On your financial statements, and these are just sort of small questions, but maybe you can just help me understand, in your national time sales and your local time sales between years 2 and 3, there's quite a significant increase in the amount of revenue that you're bringing in. There's $3.6 million increase in national sales and almost $2 million in local; no corresponding increase in expenses, so I'm just wondering what the explanation is for that. Why do you see such a jump? It seems very steady in years 1 and 2 and then in the years following that jump, but there is a significant jump between these two years.
2153 MR. HOLTBY: Well, we recognize when you launch a new station, Commissioner, that it take s a while for it to reach its stride. So what we've done is try to give you a conservative estimate of where we see the revenues coming from and how the growth would be. As I've said earlier, I think there's a great opportunity in ethnic advertising. James has some interesting stories related to the Commission about the success that he's had with his radio station. If you produce top quality programs and you're able to measure the audience, you're going to be able to sell that audience. It's very much an underserved demographic in Greater Vancouver, and advertisers have told us that if we can demonstrate that we have that audience, that they're there, they want to buy.
2154 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So you would attribute the increase in national time sales and local time sales to increased advertising to the ethnic programming?
2155 MR. HOLTBY: It's ethnic, as well as mainstream. As the Commission is well aware, you get your books, your rating books, but they're always after, following after the event, so we're really not going to be able to demonstrate to the advertisers where these ratings really are until the spring of our first year of operation. And in my experience in launching television stations is it takes a while to develop the awareness on the dial and the awareness of your programming. We have to advertise to the audience that we're there and what we have, so it's a building process. We think that will take approximately two years.
2156 In addition to that, we also have some of our own perceptions of what is going to happen in the marketplace here and the economy generally. We've seen that interest rates have dropped significantly and the Commission is probably, I'm sure is aware, that this province just had a personal --
2157 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Twenty-five percent.
2158 MR. HOLTBY: Twenty-five percent reduction on provincial income taxes. Of course, there's added immigration and more people as well coming in, ethnics coming into this market. So taking all of those things into account, we came up with those estimates.
2159 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So but after that jump then, it stays steady for the next five years. So you don't anticipate that you'd be able to build in a similar kind of increment at some point following that?
2160 MR. HOLTBY: Well, again, it's a conservative estimate, and I mean, we don't have rose-coloured glasses on, and we're not going to estimate that we're going to estimate that we can increase by 10 or 15 percent a year.
2161 Those days, I think, are gone, unless you're able to increase that ethnic side. I think as far as conventional, English-speaking advertising, we're going to grow at the normal rate of four or five percent.
2162 COMMISSIONER WILSON: You suggested that some of that increase would be attributable to ethnic -- I'll just refer to it as ethnic advertising, advertising in --
2163 MR. HOLTBY: Right.
2164 COMMISSIONER WILSON: -- ethnic programming, but the breakdown of revenues that you draw from English language programming, versus ethnic programming remain fairly stable right across the business plan at 80 percent. And you don't see a corresponding increase in that table that you submitted where you break out the revenues?
2165 MR. HOLTBY: Our ethnic advertising, if I remember correctly, does increase faster than our overall advertising. But again, I would say to you, Commissioner, we try to be conservative. I think it would be -- it wouldn't be prudent to design a business plan that showed that you could do 10 or 15 percent increase in ethnic advertising. It would beg another question, I would think, from you.
2166 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Mm-hmm.
2167 MR. HOLTBY: So we try to be conservative, but I personally believe there's a great opportunity, and I think the other applicant does as well. It sounded like that yesterday.